More than 41,000 people voted early in person in Orange County, and thousands more are expected to cast their ballots on Election Day.
Paula McKinley, who recently became a citizen of the U.S., voted for the second time in the United States during early voting on Oct. 22 in Hillsborough.
Following the 2020 general election, McKinley said she wanted to solidify her U.S. citizenship to ensure that her voice was heard in the next election. She became a citizen in October 2021 and voted in the primaries this spring.
“Up until now, I haven’t been an American," she said. "I have been a Canadian and British citizen, and decided to push through my citizenship after the last presidency to make sure that I had a vote.”
In the 2022 general election, citizens can cast their votes for government representatives, nonpartisan office positions and court officials.
North Carolina offered early voting, during which registered voters could cast an in-person absentee ballot. The early voting period began on Oct. 20 and ended on Nov. 5.
Orange County citizens turned out to fill in their ballots and support candidates at early voting locations across the community.
Dr. Michael Forbes, an assistant professor of neurology at UNC School of Medicine, said he makes a point to vote in every election.
He said he believes the country is better represented when more citizens take action in the form of voting.