Thursday marked the first day of early voting for the May 6 primary, and in Orange County, 472 residents cast their ballots at five polling locations.
The Seymour Center in Chapel Hill was the busiest site by a narrow margin: 134 voters cast ballots there, while 132 cast their ballots at the Board of Elections office in Hillsborough. 104 voters cast ballots at Carrboro Town Hall, and 23 people voted at Master’s Garden Preschool in Hillsborough.
The most closely-watched statistic may be for the polling site at NC Hillel, where 79 residents cast ballots Thursday. Located slightly off campus, NC Hillel was the site chosen by elections officials partly to accommodate student voters—though some argued that an on-campus location would have made it easier for students to vote.
The vote count for Thursday greatly surpasses the early-voting total for the first day of early voting in the 2010 primary—when only 114 people cast ballots at two locations. (One of those locations was Morehead Planetarium on campus, where 56 people cast votes.) Nearly 1300 voters cast ballots on the first full day of early voting for the 2012 primary, but that was a presidential election year.