Voting location on Ocracoke, the OVFD station. Photo: P. Vankevich

By Peter Vankevich

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Living up to expectations as the election of the century, national voter turnout for the General Election tomorrow (Nov. 3) is projected to be the highest percentage since 1908 and may end up being the highest of all time.

Ocracoke’s polling place at the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, 822 Irvin Garrish Hwy., will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., which are the polling hours statewide.

In this election, emotions on both sides are running high.

As of Sunday afternoon, Americans have cast a record-breaking 93 million early ballots.

That’s almost twice as many pre-election votes as were cast in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

In North Carolina, the North Carolina Board of Elections website today reports that when combining the early in-person votes of 3.61 million with mail in/absentee ballots of 947,421, the total number that have already voted is 4.66 million, which is 62% of the registered voters.

According to Hyde Elections Director Viola Williams, 1,232 ballots have been cast representing 38.8 percent of Hyde’s registered voters. Hyde is one of the state’s counties with the lowest percentage of early votes. In 2016, only 23.6% early votes were cast.

Of Ocracoke’s 827 registered voters, a total of 452 have returned ballots, giving this precinct 54.6% of votes already cast.

For local comparisons, Dare County has had 62.6% votes already cast, Beaufort 59.7, Carteret 65.5 and Washington 59.1

In the 2016 election, on Ocracoke Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump two to one: 318 votes to 158. But countywide, Trump was the winner with1,275 votes to 956.

Election day weather is expected to be warmer than today, sunny and in the low 60s. The high winds of today (Monday) that suspended ferry service on Ocracoke will be much lower.

Voters are urged to show up with masks and follow the socially distance signs to diminish the spread of COVID-19.

Here are the Hyde County voting locations:

Burgess Mill: Ponzer Ruritan Building, 39911 E US Hwy 264, Belhaven

Engelhard: Engelhard Community Building, 34545 US Hwy 264

Fairfield: Mattamuskeet Opportunities, 69 Church St.

Lake Landing: St. Georges Parrish House 31655 US Hwy 264, Engelhard

Ocracoke: Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Dept., 822 Irvin Garrish Hwy.

Sladesville: Sladesville Fire Dept. Mtg Room 123 Sladesville-Credle Rd., Scranton

Swan Quarter: Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Dept., 25 Oyster Creek Rd.