ARCHDALE — County residents have three more opportunities this week to make their way to the Randolph Community Services Building and participate in early voting.

A record-breaking pace continues, as data indicates voter turnout in North Carolina and across the country will likely be the highest in more than a century. More than 3.17 million North Carolinians had already either cast or mailed in ballots as of Monday in the 2020 election, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. That total represents 66% of all votes counted in the 2016 presidential election.

Experts predict that the number of ballots cast this year could be higher than in any presidential election since 1908.

Long lines and COVID-19 concerns have done little to deter participation in the electoral process in North Carolina, which is considered a swing state in this year’s presidential and congressional elections. Face coverings and mail-in ballots have become the answer to fears of voting during a pandemic, and single-use pens have now become souvenirs for voters in place of traditional “I Voted” stickers.

As of 5 a.m. Monday, a total of 37,493 voters had cast ballots at polls countywide, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. That number indicates that 39.9% of registered voters had already participated in the election, including 5,773 mail-in ballots that had been tallied.

In the general election, Archdale and Trinity residents are participating in the determination of two county commissioners, a state Senator, a state House member, among other high-profile state and federal offices. Races for governor and for a U.S. Senate seat could determine which party controls the state and the Senate.

If already registered to vote, residents are eligible to cast a ballot during early voting or on Election Day itself. If not registered, voters can same-day register and vote during the early voting period. However, there is no same-day registration and voting on Election Day itself.

The 2020 general election in North Carolina will not require voters to provide an additional form of identification. Early voting for this fall’s general election continues through Saturday, leading up to Election Day itself Nov. 3.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.