Updated 05/05/2012 05:16 PM
Over 300,000 votes cast as early voting ends
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RALEIGH — Saturday marked the last day of early voting for the North Carolina primary.
As of last week more than 300,000 votes had been cast since early voting kicked off in April. The crowds came by the hundreds, all with one common goal.
“It's our right to make our voice heard,” said Brett Bailey.
Lengthy lines did not turn voters away. They were passionate about making their voice heard ahead of time in the upcoming primary.
"It's absolutely very important to come out and get that vote on paper because you never know what might happen on Tuesday,” said Bailey.
Election officials say they have not seen such a large turnout since the 2008 presidential election. At one site more than 7,000 people came out to cast their vote early.
“It may be one vote, but it's my vote and it's very important to me to state how I feel about these issues on the ballot,” said voter Brian Smith.
A ballot filled with a variety of races is what sparked the big turnout. The lines were not just out the door, they were wrapped around street corners in the downtown district.
“We waited for 25 minutes. That's 25 minutes I would gladly spend again to vote early,” said Bailey.
Even families spent part of their Saturday in line. They're taking the time to educate their children that voting is a right we all enjoy.
“It's critical for our children to know they have a responsibility to stand up for what they believe in,” said Mollie Ward.
The ballot includes republican presidential nominees, candidates for Governor, local legislators, and the marriage amendment. Election day is Tuesday.