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Early voter turnout up slightly in NC ahead of Tuesday's election

More than 2.1 million North Carolinians have already cast votes ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections either by mail or at early voting sites, according to data released Sunday by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

That's about 4% higher than at this point in the 2018 midterm elections.

Early voters this year have been older on average compared to 2018, and the percentage of Democrats and African American voters is down slightly, according to Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University.

Voters are deciding a key Senate race between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd, as well as many local races and ballot initiatives.

There are also races that will determine which party will control the North Carolina Supreme Court, and Republicans are trying to reclaim supermajorities in the state House and Senate. That would allow them to override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

Polls will open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Voters do not need to present a photo ID to vote in North Carolina, and voters are allowed to use their cell phones inside voting booths to look up information about candidates.

Voters can find a sample ballot and look up where to vote at NCSBE.gov.

People who plan to vote by mail must have their ballots postmarked or hand-delivered to their local board of elections office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

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WFAE's Nick de la Canal can be heard on public radio airwaves across the Charlotte region, bringing listeners the latest in local and regional news updates. He's been a part of the WFAE newsroom since 2013, when he began as an intern. His reporting helped the station earn an Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news coverage following the Keith Scott shooting and protests in September 2016. More recently, he's been reporting on food, culture, transportation, immigration, and even the paranormal on the FAQ City podcast. He grew up in Charlotte, graduated from Myers Park High, and received his degree in journalism from Emerson College in Boston. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal