Nearly 2,600 polling places across North Carolina opened Tuesday for the 2024 primary election, and Greensboro voters came out early hoping to make a difference.

When Richard Jones voted in previous elections he was used to a waiting time. But when he arrived at his polling location at East White Oak Baptist Church in Greensboro he was in and out within minutes.

He said the low foot traffic was a sign of the redistricting efforts in large cities by the GOP-led legislature, with the Triad's 6th District one of the heavily affected areas.

"It's taken away really the voting power of Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh," Jones said. "They've diluted them."

He said the conditions of the legislature and the state of democracy were his primary concerns driving him to the polls this year, and more voting is what's needed.

Charlotte Bodiford said her main motivation for voting in this election was to ensure her voice mattered locally.

"A lot of things you have issues for, maybe somebody's going totally against that, and you don't know that if you don't vote," she said.

Bodiford said at a local level she was most concerned about housing.

"It's not a quick fix thing but I still think it's something that needs to be addressed," she said. "We can't keep sweeping it under the rug as a city."

They were part of a slow, but steady stream of voters who made their way to the church. Cassandra Lowery said she's exercised her right to vote since she first became of legal age.

"I think it's really necessary even though we don't always get the outcome we want," she said. "But at least we know we put forth an effort because nothing beats a failure but not trying."

Lowery said the turnout of Black and youth voters seen during former President Barack Obama's elections is needed this year.

For Zachary McChristian his major concern was border security and the perceived focus on immigrants before citizens.

"We got a serious problem in this country where we don't take care of our own people," he said. "How are we expected to grow as a nation if the very people who built this nation are not of our major concerns."

McChristian said he identifies as an independent because Democrats and Republicans haven't done much for Black America.

He said housing, inflation and support for historically Black colleges were some of his other concerns.

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