Speaking of elections here in the Bull City, there's no question about one thing: early voting numbers are easily on path to break 2004's record turnout.
Durham elections director Mike Ashe predicted last month that 140,000 voters could turn out for this fall's general election, versus the 111,000 back in '04, with early voters representing perhaps half of that turnout.
With the close of the polls today, we're two-thirds the way through the early voting period; through Sunday, 53,247 Durhamites have cast their votes early.
If that trend holds on the remaining dates, Durham could surpass 80,000 votes cast through early voting alone. In '04, just over 30,000 early votes had been cast through the Wednesday before the final day of early balloting -- three days after this year's period, that is, and we're already on pace to see twice the early voting turnout by the equivalent point here in '08.
Of course, the previous record for Durham early voting was set late in the early voting period last cycle -- and the average daily turnout this cycle to date surpasses the one-day high water mark from that election.
Remember that if you're going to vote early at one of Durham's seven early voting sites, you've only got a few days left to do so:
- Monday, October 27: 9am-5:30pm
- Tuesday, October 28: 9am-5:30pm
- Wednesday, October 29: 9am-5:30pm
- Thursday, October 30: 9am-7:00pm
- Friday, October 31: 9am-7:00pm
- Saturday, November 1: 9am-1:00pm