By Kayla Berenson
CHARLOTTE – All eyes were on North Carolina as the Ninth District voted for its congressional representative in the Sept. 10 special election.
Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. with voters and canvassers hoping to make an impact on the state’s future in Congress.
While voters only see the majority of canvassers outside of their polling place, many of them have been campaigning for months leading up to the election.
“This election is going to come down to just a handful of votes,” volunteer Rachelle Salo said. “And every vote matters.”
While Salo was canvassing for a candidate in Charlotte’s primary election, she said her special election vote would go toward Democratic candidate Dan McCready.
Canvassers supporting Republican candidate Dan Bishop also understood the importance of the election.
“There’s been a lot of interest for this campaign and the value it’s going to add to Congress and our country,” Susan Austin said.
Winston-Salem resident Joan Fleming drove to Charlotte at 4 a.m. to show her support and volunteer for Bishop at William R. Davie Park.
“I want to win this state back red,” Fleming said.
At the same polling location, canvasser Debra Wallace hoped to see a blue future for North Carolina.
“I have lots of problems with Dan Bishop and his history and what he has done to damage our state,” Wallace said. “I think McCready is the person to help us move forward.”
McCready and Bishop greeted voters and canvassers across the district, including Indian Trail and Monroe.
By the time Bishop arrived at Hemby Bridge Elementary School six hours before the polls closed, he said he felt confident about the election’s outcome, especially after President Donald Trump’s rally the night before.
“The President and the Vice President being in the district for us yesterday, and just that experience of Mike Pence traveling with us across the district… and the President of the United States packing an auditorium in Fayetteville for us is a tremendous experience,” Bishop said. “I think it puts us over the top.”
Bishop also said he could see a clear surge in the number of his supporters.
“We started off just six months ago in a race in which our opponent’s been in for two years,” Bishop said.
Trump endorsed Bishop heavily on Twitter in the days leading up to the election. Democratic presidential hopefuls Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren also took to Twitter to endorse Dan McCready.