On the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 3, this year, people quietly, wearily went about their business, too exhausted to be excited about the election.
Later that night, voters would see the results of this contentious, overly partisan fight between President Donald Trump and the former Vice President Joe Biden for the White House, in this historic election that has been much referred to as a fight for the soul of this country.
For more than a year, there have been protests, bumper stickers, yard signs, a screaming, shouting Democratic Party primary, followed by the fears, anxiety and exhaustion resulting from the lockdowns from the coronavirus.
But in the end, many people still went about the voting process like normal, rushing to cast their votes before polls closed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
At Hope Valley Baptist Church in Durham, toward the end of the day, voters were still rolling into the parking lot, bringing their kids with them after work.
Erin Durkin, a volunteer with Democracy NC, a Morrisville-based nonprofit advocating for voter’s rights, had been there since the morning and said the traffic had been steady, but small.
“It’s been a small trickle,” Durkin said. “There has not been a line here.”
“There’s been a little excitement in general,” she added. “People are exercising their right to vote. And I think people have really turned out despite the pandemic.”
Anibal Crishola was also at the polling site, passing out election flyers for the nonprofit Durham Rescue Mission.
Crishola said he had voted for the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“I think he would help people in my work bracket,” he said. “Trump is more for the rich.”
But whoever wins the presidential election, Crishola added, he hoped they will follow through on their promises.
“I hope Trump does what he says he’s going to do,” he said, “if he gets elected, whoever gets elected. That’s what makes America great, right?”
Trump and Biden both have made multiple trips to North Carolina to get people out to vote, campaign to supporters and, maybe more importantly in this intense election year, try to secure the state’s 15 electoral votes. Trump and his campaign have made more than a dozen trips to the state since July, with Trump himself holding one last rally in Fayetteville on Monday, the day before the election.
At the end of the night, Trump won North Carolina with 2,732,084 votes, or 49.9 percent. Trump had also carried North Carolina in 2016.
Biden took 2,655,383 votes, or 48.6 percent.
According to the N.C. Board of Elections, 7.4 million North Carolinians registered to vote this year. Of that total, 5.5 million people had voted by election day, taking voter turnout to 74.5 percent this year, up significantly from 69 percent in 2016.
Additionally, 3.6 million people did early voting this year, of whom 977,186 voted by mail because of the coronavirus. Early voting, overseas and military votes, and mail-in are all counted as absentee votes.
As of Tuesday, there were still 117,000 mail-in votes to be counted in North Carolina. The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld a move by the Board of Elections to extend the mail-in count to Nov. 12 from Nov. 6. All ballots postmarked on or before election day and received before Nov. 12 will be counted.
Protests broke out in downtown Raleigh as the nation awaited the election results. Earlier in the day, store owners on Fayetteville Street had boarded up their windows.
In the presidential race, Triangle residents mostly voted for Biden, former vice president under Barack Obama. In Durham, Biden took 142,770 votes to Trump’s 31,827. In Orange County, 63,097 for Biden, 19,993 for Trump. In Wake County, Trump took a bigger share, with 223,466 votes for Trump, and 388,686 votes for Biden.
Election results statewide and locally
Governor: Gov. Roy Cooper won his re-election bid in the governor’s race against Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, with 2,803,782 votes to Forest’s 2,563,258 votes.
Lt. Governor: Republican Mark Robinson won the lieutenant governor race against Democrat Yvonne Holley, 2,773,751 votes to Holley’s 2,595,868.
U.S. Senate: Republican Thom Tillis won against Democrat Cal Cunningham for the Senate seat. Tillis received 2,640,379 votes to Cunningham’s 2,543,672.
U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. District 1: G.K. Butterfield, Democrat, held his seat against Republican Sandy Smith, 187,125 to 158,530.
U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. District 2: Deborah Ross, Democrat, won District 2 with 308,458 votes. Alan Swain, Republican, and Jeff Matemu, Libertarian, took 170,376 votes and 10,568 votes, respectively.
U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. District 4: David Price, Democrat, won re-election with 328,933 votes. Republican candidate Robert Thomas received 159,509 votes.
Attorney general: Josh Stein
N.C. Secretary of State: Elaine Marshall
State Auditor: Beth Wood
Commissioner of Insurance: Mike Causey
Commissioner of Labor: Josh Dobson
Commissioner of Agriculture: Steve Troxler
State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Catherine Truitt
State Treasurer: Dale Folwell
N.C. Senate, District 14 (Wake): Dan Blue
N.C. Senate, District 15 (Wake): Jay Chaudhuri
N.C. Senate, District 16 (Wake): Wiley Nickel
N.C. Senate, District 17 (Wake): Sam Searcy
N.C. Senate, District 18 (Wake, Franklin): Sarah Crawford
N.C. House of Representatives:
Allison Dahle (District 11)
Rosa Gill (District 33)
Grier Martin (District 34)
Wake County Board of Commissioners: Sig Hutchison, Matt Calabria, Maria Cervania, Susan Evans
$80 million Affordable Housing Bond: Yes
N.C. Senate District 20 (Durham): Natalie Murdock
N.C. Senate District 22 (Durham, Granville, Person): Mike Woodard
N.C. House of Representatives:
Vernetta Alston (District 29)
Marcia Morey (District 30)
Zack Hawkins (District 31)
Robert Reives (District 54)
Durham County Board of Commissioners: Nida Allam, Nimasheena Burns, Wendy Jacobs, Brenda Howerton, Heidi Carter
Register of Deeds: Sharon Davis
Durham Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor: Anjali Boyd
N.C. Senate District 23 (Orange, Chatham): Valerie Foushee
N.C. House of Representatives:
Graig Meyer (District 50)
Verla Insko (District 56)
Orange County Board of Commissioners: Amy Fowler (at-large), Mark Dorian (1), Renee Price (2)
Orange Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor: Gail Hughes
This article has been updated from its previous version on Wednesday.