What Time Will North Carolina Primary Results Be Out? The Old North State Already Has a Sizable Voter Turnout.
It's time for South Carolina, the "first-in-the-south" state to vote in the primaries, to step out of the limelight and direct the attention towards its sibling state. On March 15, North Carolina will hold its election alongside Ohio, Illinois, Florida, and Missouri. Luckily for those eager to hear the results, each of these states opts out of time consuming caucuses — which oftentimes run late into the night and even early into the next morning — for simpler primaries. This means voters nationwide won't have to wait long to hear North Carolina's voting results, which will ultimately help to determine the Republican and Democratic nominees.
On Tuesday, North Carolina's polls will be open from 6:30 am EST until 7:30 pm EST, leaving residents ample time to cast their all-important votes. Most likely, the state's local news outlets will announce the primary winners before bedtime, a few hours after the polls close. If you're an early riser and tuck in before 10 pm EST, then expect the results to be waiting for you early the next morning.
Though the polls haven't opened yet, a record number of voters have shown up over the last few days to cast their ballots early. Raleigh's local WRAL reported that over 10 percent of the state's 6.47 million registered voters have already made their way to the polling stations. According to David McLennan, political science professor at Meredith College, the uptick might be a harbinger of higher overall voter turnout.
We have fewer days and more people, so it does show a real increase in interest in voting early. Just seeing the big jump of almost 200,000 voters participate in early voting, it really is a sign that we may see higher turnout overall in the primary than we did four years ago.
Though North Carolina does offer early voting, its residents are not allowed to register to vote online. According to Ballotpedia, this system of voting, which eliminates the convenient online aspect of the process, could negatively affect voter turnout in the state. The limitation has the potential to deter first-time voters in particular, who are accustomed to completing official documents online. In this election, every vote absolutely counts, because North Carolina plays a significant role in determining how the March 15 elections, as a whole, pan out. The five states combined could solidify a lead within the Democratic and Republican Parties.
With 72 Republican delegates, North Carolina's primary will hold the most weight next to Florida and Ohio. Though the state has three more Republican delegates than Ohio, it does not allocate them in a winner-take-all-manner. Instead, North Carolina employs a more proportional delegate allocation system that awards delegates to all candidates who surpass the percentage threshold.
In the Democratic race, the state utilizes the same system but holds less importance in comparison to Ohio, Florida, and Illinois, which hold over 150 delegates each. According to The Fayetteville Observer, North Carolina matters for both parties, nonetheless, because its early voting inserts into mainstream conversation relatively early on in the election season. North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse mentioned that candidates start campaigning in the state as early as January.
It's getting North Carolina in the conversation early, and gives the voters the opportunity to see these candidates up-close and often earlier in the process.