With the 2020 presidential primary decided in North Carolina, it's unclear how much changes in state laws have affected voter turnout since 2016.
With the early voting period being extended from nine to 17 days and uniform open hours at polling places being mandated by the state, some counties have been forced to decrease the number of polling locations, but it appears this has had little effect on voter turnout across the state.
In an interview Friday, Rachel Raper, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, said in Orange County, evidence leading up to election day was pointing to voter turnout in this year’s primary being similar to the 2016 primary.
“I really feel like it’s going to be about the same," she said. "It might be a little less or a little more, than in March of 2016.”
According to data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), early voter turnout increased slightly both in Orange County and statewide between 2016 and 2020, after a decrease in polling places and an increased early voting period duration.