Early in-person voting getting underway in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Candidates, interest groups and the public are gearing up for the start of early in-person voting in the battleground state of North Carolina.

The early-voting period begins Thursday, with at least one site open in each of the 100 counties. The early-voting period covers 17 days until Nov. 5. It grew by a week after a federal court struck down a 2013 law scaling back the number of days.

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.