CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Early voting for North Carolina started Thursday at 8 a.m. The early-voting period covers 17 days until November 5. It grew by a week after a federal court struck down a 2013 law scaling back the number of days.
There will be at least one site open in each of the 100 counties.
“North Carolinians have more opportunities to vote early this year,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “We encourage voters to avoid Election Day lines by voting at one-stop or by mail. For those who missed the regular registration deadline, early voting offers a chance to both register and vote through November 5.”
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.
County board of elections offices across North Carolina have scheduled more than 42,400 total hours of early voting for the 2016 general election, a 16 percent increase over 2012. Also, the 444 early voting locations statewide is a 21 percent increase over 2012.
As of Oct. 15, nearly 6.8 million people were registered to vote in North Carolina.
For a full list of polling stations in North Carolina, click here. Dates and times vary by county, polling site and day.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.