Closings and delays

Voter turnout strong across the Triad for first day of early voting

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The first day of early voting across North Carolina saw strong turnout from voters across the Piedmont Triad.

In Guilford County, election leaders report around 5,500 voters showed up at one of their 11 early voting locations.

The Alamance County Elections Department saw close to 2,100 voters show up at early voting locations.

In Rockingham County, leaders said the department broke records for participation on the first day of early voting with close to 1,500 voters by midday Thursday.

Forsyth County saw many voters wait an hour or more at their downtown early voting location. Some said they couldn't wait until Election Day.

"We won't be here so we had to strategize to make sure we got our vote in," said Rod Meyer, a voter who joked around with other voters in line.

Meyer talked about his plan that couldn't keep him from running into a line Thursday.

"I expect a long line in the morning and my experience with these sorts of things is it tapers off in the mid-afternoon and evening," said Meyer.

Relief from the long wait in Forsyth County could come Monday. That's when nine satellite locations for early voting will open giving voters more than just the downtown option on Chestnut Street.

Charlie Collicutt, Election Director in Guilford County, said one thing that could help voters dealing with high turnout is longer hours. He most departments have to extend hours to match the amount of time early voting was offered to voters in 2010 despite just 10 days of early voting compared to 17 days four years ago.

"It's not going to be overloaded," said Collicutt. "It's not going to be overly crowded, I don't think, but it's going to be nice and steady."