- Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on early voting in North Carolina (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

Early voting is beginning in North Carolina, with long lines reported at some sites.

By late morning Thursday, 160 people were waiting in line at the early-voting site in Apex, with 120 waiting in line in Henderson. The Charlotte Observer reported the line was two hours long and growing at University City library.

In Greensboro, 63-year-old Eileen Kennedy arrived to vote about 7:50 a.m. and was surprised to see about 30 people in line ahead of her. Kennedy says she decided whom to support for president after watching the final debate Wednesday.

Early voting is important in North Carolina, a battleground state. In the last presidential election in 2012, 56 percent of registered voters cast their ballot early.

Election Day is Nov. 8, and early voting continues through Nov. 5.

___

6:15 a.m.

Candidates, interest groups and the public are gearing up for the start of early in-person voting in the battleground state of North Carolina.

The early-voting period begins Thursday, with at least one site open in each of the 100 counties. The early-voting period covers 17 days until Nov. 5. It grew by a week after a federal court struck down a 2013 law scaling back the number of days.

Early in-person voting has been very popular - 56 percent of people who voted in the 2012 presidential election cast ballots by that method. People can also register to vote at early-voting centers and vote at the same time.

This fall’s ballot features races for president, U.S. Senate, governor, the Council of State and a host of judicial and local races.


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