FIRST DAY OF EARLY VOTING IN NC DRAWS 272,000 TO THE POLLS: As the sun rose Thursday, voters at some Triangle polling stations formed lines hundreds of people deep, waiting over hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting in North Carolina. The number of ballots crept up all day: 76,000 by noon. The state reported 170,000 as of 3:30 p.m. With two hours left to go, 230,000 ballots were cast. And as the polls closed at 7:30 p.m., North Carolina voters had cast more than 272,000 votes, far surpassing the first day of early voting in 2016, when roughly 166,000 ballots were cast, the N.C. State Board of Elections reported. Combined with absentee ballots also received so far, more than 826,285 North Carolinians had already voted in the election, about 11% of registered voters, the board reported.