GREENSBORO — Early voting in Guilford County got off to a start this week that could be on track to set a turnout record.
By the cutoff at 7 p.m. Friday, 18,018 voters had cast ballots in the first three days of early voting, said Charlie Collicutt, Guilford’s elections director.
That’s an average of just more than 6,000 voters per day in the early going.
By comparison, the last midterm election four years ago saw a similar daily average of about 6,000 Guilford voters casting ballots in the first few days and went on to set a countywide early voting record of 58,671 ballots.
Collicutt said Friday afternoon that it was difficult to make early comparisons between election cycles because of differences in locations and schedules.
This year’s early voting period spans 16 days and doesn’t end until Nov. 3. The 2014 cycle included just 10 days.
Guilford’s latest version of early voting followed another pattern that mimicked previous years. Voters have turned up in greater numbers on the front end each day, Collicutt said.
“We are seeing that the majority of the voters are coming during the first half of the day rather than later in the day.” he said.
There will be no early voting options this weekend, but polls will reopen Monday morning at nine locations. The schedule includes a break next Saturday, then resumes daily for early voters from Sunday, Oct. 28, through the following Saturday.
The first day of early voting in Guilford County on Wednesday drew about 6,100 people to the polls, Collicutt said. Roughly 5,500 turned out Thursday and just more than 6,350 on Friday, he said.
The 2014 general election had a major drawing card that this year’s elections lack: a U.S. Senate contest between then-incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and the eventual winner, Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.
The closest thing this time around are races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s 6th and 13th congressional districts, each of which includes a part of Guilford County.
Of the two, the 13th District is the marquee matchup pitting first-term incumbent, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) against Democratic challenger Kathy Manning of Greensboro. Libertarian Tom Bailey and Green Party candidate Robert Corriher also are running in the district.