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'Abysmal turnout' | Fewer than 10% of voters expected to cast ballots in Charlotte election

On Flashpoint, a political science professor said the city's election will attract few voters.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Political scientists say Tuesday's municipal election will be decided by relatively few voters in Charlotte.

"I would be shocked if we have over 10% of the 600,000 voters casting a ballot for this election," Michael Bitzer, professor at Catawba College, said.

RELATED: Charlotte’s general election: What to know before you vot

Voting data from the second week of early voting showed democrats were over-performing when it came to voting, republicans were right on track, and unaffiliated voters were lacking when it came to getting to the polls.

Charlotte is increasingly dominated by democrats and unaffiliated voters, and Bitzer said that can create voter apathy.

"When you don't have a competitive two-party system, that often affects turnout," he said.

RELATED: 'It begs the question, could we have done it better?' | City councilmembers look back at two terms in office

Bitzer warned voters against losing interest in local politics.

"These are the offices that affect the citizens on a day-to-day basis with their policy decisions," he said.

The election was originally scheduled for last fall but was pushed back because of delayed census data.  

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To vote on election day, new voters must register at least 30 days prior. Same-day voter registration is allowed if someone goes to an early voting location, as long as that person has lived in Charlotte for at least 30 days before the election.

There are 14 early voting locations across Charlotte that voters can pick from. When going early, voters can choose the location most convenient for them. 

However, on election day, voters must go to the precinct they're assigned. Charlotte has 166 precincts. Voters can check what precinct they're assigned to online.

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 


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