Cooper declares victory, McCrory says NC governor’s race isn’t over


This story will be updated throughout the day and night with the latest news and information regarding Election Day in North Carolina. All times listed are EST.


1:45 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Attorney General Roy Cooper’s team released a statement saying Cooper “maintains strong lead” in his race against Gov. Pat McCrory.

Last night, Roy Cooper defeated Governor Pat McCrory in a close race for North Carolina Governor. With 100% of precincts reporting, Cooper leads by 4,980 votes. Last night, the people of North Carolina chose a new Governor with new priorities. With all precincts reporting, we have a strong lead and are confident that once the results are certified, we will confirm last night’s victory. In the coming weeks, Governor-elect Cooper will be laying out an agenda for moving North Carolina forward,” said Cooper for NC spokesman Ford Porter.

11:10 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Pat McCrory’s team and the North Carolina GOP released statements Wednesday morning regarding the gubernatorial race against Attorney General Roy Cooper. Cooper claimed victory Wednesday morning.

McCrory campaign strategist Chris LaCivita:

“The votes have been cast in the gubernatorial election, but many have yet to be counted. Currently, there are tens of thousands of outstanding absentee, military and provisional ballots across the state, and claiming an outcome before the process has concluded is irresponsible and disrespectful to the voters of North Carolina whose voices have yet to be heard. We also have grave concerns over potential irregularities in Durham County, including the sudden emergence of over 90,000 ballots at the end of the night.

Our campaign is working closely with the North Carolina Republican Party and Chairman Robin Hayes to fulfill Governor McCrory’s call to ensure every vote is counted and that every eligible voter is afforded one vote. We will devote all appropriate financial and human resources to this effort and will let the system work. In the meantime, Governor McCrory will continue to do the job he was elected to do and focus on storm recovery and response.”

N.C. Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes:

The North Carolina Republican Party is working closely with Governor Pat McCrory’s campaign and other teams to deploy hundreds of volunteers and dozens of teams of lawyers across the state to ensure that every vote is counted in accordance with the laws of the state. We will direct any and all appropriate resources to this effort, and are confident that once all votes are counted, North Carolina will continue to prosper under four more years of Pat McCrory’s leadership.”

7:51 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As people woke up to election results, there was much to digest over breakfast Wednesday.

Customers at Watkins Grill in Raleigh shared their reactions with CBS North Carolina. Amos Jones, associate professor of law at Campbell Law School, gave his analysis of the results.

6:34 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With all precincts reporting in North Carolina, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper is up approximately 5,001 votes over incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory in the race for governor.

Cooper took the lead after McCrory was ahead for most of the night. The governor has said the race is far from over, though.

Republicans CBS North Carolina spoke with Tuesday night and early Wednesday said this was a roller coaster of emotions for them and that they feel uncertain about what’s going to happen.

“The election is not over in North Carolina,” McCrory said to a crowd of supporters at the Crabtree Marriott in Raleigh.

The governor told supporters that the votes in North Carolina will start to be canvassed.

McCrory had led most of the night. He then told the crowd what happened when Cooper took the lead.

“We just had a major new vote coming out of Durham, North Carolina, in the last 40 minutes,” he said as the crowd yelled “They stole it!” McCrory went on, “Apparently there was a sudden emergence of over 90,000 votes that were not counted this morning.”

After the rally, CBS North Carolina spoke with the NC GOP’s Chairman Robin Hayes.

“Any time it takes this long in today’s modern age to count those votes, you have to wonder. You have to worry. And, as [the governor] said, the election must be fair.”

McCrory said with all the work that’s yet to be done on this election, it’s highly likely that we won’t know the official outcome until Nov. 18 at the earliest.

State GOP leaders said there are provisional ballots and military ballots that have yet to be counted, though they don’t know how many there are at this time.

5:30 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — According to the latest numbers from the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Attorney General Roy Cooper holds a 4,772 vote lead over incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory for the governorship of the state.

1:06 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As Democrat Roy Cooper claimed victory in North Carolina’s whisker-thin governor’s race, the final precincts came in and showed Cooper ahead.

The last two precincts were from Mecklenburg County — Republican incumbent Pat McCrory’s home county — and further added to Cooper’s slim lead.

With all precincts counted, but not official, Cooper had 2,280,972 or 48.96 percent of the votes, while McCrory had 2,276,492 votes or 48.87 percent.

The difference between the two is 4,480 votes, but McCrory said that he will continue to fight as provisional ballots are reviewed.

12:55 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Roy Cooper declared victory in North Carolina’s governor’s race early Wednesday morning.

“We have won this race for governor, I’m glad you stayed,” Cooper told a crowd of supporters.

All but two precincts were in when Cooper made his announcement.

Cooper: 2,278,584
McCrory: 2,274,856
Lon Cecil: 100,931
2,702 of 2,704 precincts reporting

12:30 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Pat McCrory spoke to supporters just before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday as ballots were still being counted across North Carolina.

Rival Roy Cooper shot to a lead of more than 3,000 votes after Durham’s precincts fully reported.

McCrory said he’ll fight to make sure every vote counts as provisional ballots are reviewed. He said results may not be official until Nov. 18.

“We plan to be governor right here in North Carolina in a second term,” McCrory said.

11:50 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – After all of Durham’s ballots were counted, Roy Cooper pulled slightly ahead of Pat McCrory.

Roy Cooper: 2,272,737
Pat McCrory: 2,270,002
99.4 percent of North Carolina precincts reporting

11:20 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has won North Carolina and the state’s 15 electoral votes, according to projections from CBS News and the Associated Press. Click here for full story.

11:17 p.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham County Board of Elections has confirmed that it is still entering about 93,000 early voting results into the state election system’s software.

10:15 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina re-elected to the Senate, the Associated Press projects. Burr is ahead of Democrat Deborah Ross by 7 percent with nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting.

9:40 p.m.

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District is remaining in Republican hands with a repeat victory for Rep. David Rouzer.

The former state senator from Johnston County won a second term Tuesday, defeating Democrat J. Wesley Casteen of Wilmington. The two met in the 2014 general election when Casteen ran as a Libertarian.

Rouzer narrowly lost to Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre in the 2012 general election. McIntyre chose not to seek re-election in 2014 in the Republican-leaning district. Rouzer was previously a federal lobbyist and aide to U.S. Sens. Jesse Helms and Elizabeth Dole.

The 7th District stretches across nine southeastern North Carolina counties, from Wilmington straddling Interstate 40 north toward the outskirts of the Triangle.

9:35 p.m.

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Veteran U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr. is going back to Washington to represent eastern and coastal north Carolina.

The Farmville Republican easily won the 3rd Congressional District election Tuesday over Democrat Ernest Reeves of Greenville. Reeves ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate earlier this year and in 2014.

Jones is a former state legislator who was first elected to Congress 22 years ago. His father also represented the region for 26 years until his death in 1992.

The younger Jones hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with Republican leadership in Congress or in the White House. He spoke out against the Iraq war and has been targeted by GOP primary challengers who accused him of being too liberal.

9:30 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield has won re-election in North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.

The Wilson Democrat and current chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus earned a seventh two-year term Tuesday, easily defeating Republican H. Powell Dew, a Stantonsburg council member, and Libertarian J.J. Summerell.

Butterfield is a former state Supreme Court justice first elected to Congress in 2004. The caucus chairmanship has raised his profile nationally and in North Carolina. He’s been a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton and spoke out on issues of race, including the shooting of a black man by a Charlotte police officer in September.

The 1st District covers all or parts of 14 eastern North Carolina counties, stretching from Durham to points east, bringing in parts of Greenville, Goldsboro and New Bern.

9:20 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. George Holding has captured a third term in Congress.

The Raleigh attorney and former federal prosecutor defeated Democrat John McNeill, a military veteran and law firm and mediation service owner.

Holding had been representing the 13th District since 2013, but North Carolina congressional maps redrawn last February put him in the same district as longtime U.S. Rep. David Price.

So Holding instead ran for the retooled 2nd District that contained much of his old eastern Piedmont district, including the Triangle. He defeated current 2nd District Rep. Renee Ellmers and Greg Brannon in an expensive GOP primary in June.

Holding’s campaign had a large financial advantage over McNeill this fall.

9:20 p.m. (WNCN) – Tuesday night has seen see-saw results as votes are counted.

Pat McCrory leads by 3,270 votes over Roy Cooper. The presidential race is neck-and-neck as Donald Trump has surged ahead of Hillary Clinton.

7:30 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — All polls across North Carolina have closed except for eight precincts in Durham County and one in Columbus County, which were given extensions by the North Carolina Board of Elections.

All voters who are were in line at 7:30 p.m. will be allowed to vote.


7:15 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A judge has decided not to grant Democracy North Carolina’s request that all Durham County voting precincts remain open until 9 p.m.

The advocacy group filed a complaint late Tuesday afternoon asking a judge in Wake County to extend the Durham County voting times by 90 minutes throughout the county — not just polling places where Durham County had specifically identified problems.

6:59 p.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Board of Elections has decided that two Durham County precincts will stay open an extra hour and that other precincts will stay open as needed based on the actual time that was interrupted earlier on Election Day.

Durham County Board of Elections officials had asked for an extra 90 minutes at eight specific polling places that experienced problems earlier in the day on Election Day.

Bethesda Ruritan Club and Cole Mill Road Church of Christ voting sites will remain open until 8:30 because they experienced the most delays, officials said.

Glenn Elementary School and Creekside Elementary are extended for 45 minutes, while Forest Hills Club House and Greater Emmanuel Temple of Grace will stay open an extra 30 minutes.

McMannen United Methodist Church will remain open an extra 25 minutes and Neal Middle School will stay open 20 minutes past the normal closing time of 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, a hearing in Raleigh is still underway involving Democracy North Carolina, which is seeking a court order to keep all Durham County polling sites open until 9 p.m.

6:37 p.m.

A hearing involving Democracy North Carolina in Raleigh on Tuesday evening. WNCN photo.
A hearing involving Democracy North Carolina in Raleigh on Tuesday evening. WNCN photo.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham County Board of Elections officials are officially asking for an extra 90 minutes at eight specific polling places that experienced problems earlier on Election Day.

The North Carolina Board of Elections is holding a conference call to discuss the request.

The eight polling places include: Greater Emmanuel Temple of Grace, Forest Hills Club House, Bethesda Ruritan Club, Creekside Elementary School, Neal Middle School, McMannen United Methodist Church, Cole Mill Road Church of Christ and Glenn Elementary School.

Meanwhile, a hearing in Raleigh is underway involving Democracy North Carolina, who is seeking a court order to keep all Durham County polling sites open until 9 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Democracy North Carolina is seeking a court order to keep all Durham County polling sites open until 9 p.m., the group’s executive director, Bob Hall, confirmed.

CLICK HERE to read the complaint filed by Democracy North Carolina. (PDF document)

Meanwhile, around 6 p.m. the Hillary Clinton campaign issued a statement supporting the extension of voting hours in Durham County.

“The Durham County Board of Elections — made up of two Republicans and one Democrat — has agreed that voting hours must be extended due to technical problems that occurred earlier today. We are urging the North Carolina Board of Elections to heed this bipartisan call and approve this urgent measure so that every voter can have their voice heard. Especially in light of the fact that Durham County had limited early voting sites, we have to ensure that voters have equal access to the ballot box,” said Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook in an email.

4:40 p.m. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Republican Party released a statement about Durham’s efforts to extend voting hours. The statement is below:


4:30 p.m. (WNCN) — The race for governor has been close for months, according to polling data. Much of the race’s rhetoric has centered on House Bill 2.

At Pullen Park in Raleigh a pair of North Carolina State University students were both voting for Trump, but had picked different candidates for governor. One said that he voted for Roy Cooper for governor because of HB2, while the other said that questions about HB2 will be resolved in the courts, and that Gov. Pat McCrory has other positions he supports.

“That’s going to get fixed by a higher-up power or something like that,” said Collin Labar. “So, I just voted with McCrory because I know for other things what he’s done I’ve agreed with.”

“I think it’s taken a lot of business away from North Carolina,” said Nicholas Hattenhauer. “I think it’s kind of screwy. We look like a backwards state. And, I don’t think we are. North Carolina is a great place.”

4 p.m. (WNCN) – The State Board of Elections said it has been in constant communication with Durham elections officials Tuesday. A five-member State Board will meet later Tuesday to determine if extended hours are needed in Durham or elsewhere across the state.

3:35 p.m. (WNCN) – At 1:30 p.m. the Durham County Board of Elections asked the State Board of Elections to extend voting hours at the Bethesda Ruritan Club. The Durham Board is canvassing to see if other sites need extended hours.

The Durham Board will meet again Tuesday afternoon to see if another request is needed.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield issued a statement asking the State Board to extend voting times in Durham.

His statement said in part:

To ensure that the most fundamental rights of voters in Durham County are upheld and that all have a fair chance to participate in this election, the Durham County Board of Elections, the majority of which is Republican, has called for an extension of voting time by 90 minutes
this evening.

3:30 p.m.

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Two voting machines in Lenoir County have been tampered with, Kinston Police said. Click here for full story

3:15 p.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — After technical issues were reported in Durham County Tuesday morning, the county board of elections has asked the North Carolina Board of Elections to keep all Durham County polls open for an extra hour because of the voting issues.

The N.C. State Board of Elections said that they need proof from Durham County that all polls were affected in order to keep all polls open for the additional time.

Earlier on Election Day, Durham’s precinct 31 ran out of “Intent to Vote” forms.

Also, earlier in the day, a glitch caused problems at six voting sites when the electronic poll book used in the check-in process for voters did not work and a paper book was used instead. The paper method worked, but slowed down the process.

The five member N.C. State Board of Elections is expected to meet later Tuesday to consider any requests to extend hours, state officials said.

1:51 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Many voters that CBS North Carolina has spoken with in Wake County have said they couldn’t miss the opportunity to vote today.

“It’s just important for me to vote. Everybody needs to. If you don’t vote you can’t complain,” said voter Allen Coleman.

Coleman is one of millions of voters who are spending their day doing the same thing.

“This is the first presidential election that I could vote in, and I really wanted to stop the stigma of apathetic young voter, so I wanted to get out and let my voice be heard,” said another Wake County voter, Robert Sculthorpe.

Many were anxious to fill out their presidential ballot. Despite who wins, they have hopes of what they can do for the country.

“Just that they’ll do more for the middle American people. That’s about it. I am not a rich man. I am not a poor man, but I feel that in America today people forget about the middle class,” Sculthorpe said.

While there have been long lines, the process has been smooth at polling places like Method Community Center in Raleigh.

“Ten minutes tops, that was all, that was all the wait I had, and it didn’t take very long to fill out the ballot,” Coleman said.

It was a different story just off Bedford Town Drive in Wake County. Voters there said they had to wait about an hour. For many, they said waiting to see who will become the next Commander-in-Chief is worth it.

“They were here yesterday and being a swing state, it’s really important to vote,” said voter Linda Gibson.

Dogs from Pawfect Match rescue visited with voters across the state. They teamed up with Next Generation in hopes of bringing out millennials to vote.

“We’ve found that nothing makes people happier than puppies. When there are puppies, people just come up, they want to talk to you and they want to get out and do whatever it takes to be near a puppy. We just want to connect the fun of puppies and the fun of voting and make it just a great experience for young people,” said Lauren Reed with Next Generation.

The Wake County SPCA also brought dogs to relieve stress to those waiting in long lines.

1:09 p.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham’s precinct 31 “Intent to Vote” forms have been restocked, the Durham Board of Elections confirmed.

Normally the forms would be printed out. Since computers were down, they had been handing out physical forms. They then ran out of the physical forms.

The precinct was back to normal just before 1 p.m.

Precinct 31 is located at 1714 S. Miami Blvd.

11:46 a.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham’s precinct 31 has run out of “Intent to Vote” forms, the Durham Board of Elections confirmed.

Normally the forms would be printed out. Since computers were down, they had been handing out physical forms. They then ran out of the physical forms.

Precinct 31 is located at 1714 S. Miami Blvd.

11:36 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina State Board of Election officials said that they found a glitch that has caused minor issues at six Durham precincts within the first hour of voting this morning.

The glitch only impacts the electronic poll book used in the check-in process for voters and doesn’t have anything to do with ballots or the process of voting.

Twenty-three other counties use a similar electronic poll book and all have back up paper poll books they can resort to, which those six Durham precincts have.

No other problems with electronic poll books have been reported in North Carolina, officials said.

11:26 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina State Board of Elections officials said they are getting complaints from polling locations across the state but they cannot say exactly how many they’ve had so far.

A news briefing at the NCSBE office in Raleigh wrapped up around 10:30 a.m. Officials said some of the complaints they received are not valid, but they do have teams that will investigate incidents if necessary.

Patrick Gannon with the NCSBE said they are aware of national reports of attempts at voter suppression, but have not had any incidents in North Carolina so far.

He urged everyone to be on the lookout for anything out of place.

“Immediately, and I want to stress immediately, report any irregularities or other problems to elections officials at your polling place if you encounter them,” Gannon said.

The NCSBE also released the near-final numbers for absentee ballots. A record turnout of more than 3.1 million residents cast their ballots during the 17-day early voting period. The state includes all kinds of early voting, including in-person early voting, in their absentee ballots statistics.

9:41 a.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Six precincts have been impacted by a minor technical glitch in Durham. The glitch does not impact ballots or voting.

8:58 a.m.

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — CBS North Carolina’s Justin Quesinberry spoke with voters in Johnston County about their views on the 2016 election.

Clayton resident Ken Murphy called the campaign “divisive.”

“It’s been a lot more divisive than ever before…[it] just keeps you involved more, paying more attention,” he said.

Katherine Dull is a first-time voter and N.C. State student. She explained why she voted today.

“I feel like my vote means more. I mean, it was my first time voting and I feel like having the whole process happening and getting up early and going before class and stuff, like, I feel like it means more,” she said. “Looking at the past elections, I’ve always been like a political person. I’ve always cared. But this election means more because it’s my future on the line. So, being able to decide that means a lot.”

Another Clayton resident, Kathy Scott, said she feels voting is her duty as an American.

“I came out today in part to make sure that I did my public duty to vote, but also to teach my daughter about the system and why I’m so proud to be an American,” she said. “I’m a traditionalist. I like traditions and it’s important to me to know that I just did it on the day that we have traditionally done it.”

Clayton voter Chris Barr explained why he decided to vote on Election Day instead of during the early voting period.

“I’ve always just enjoyed voting on the day that you’re supposed to go out and vote. It just never occurred to me to go early,” he said.

8:38 a.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham County has reported that they’re having technical issues at a few locations and have been advised by the North Carolina State Board of Elections to switch to paper poll books. This will impact the check-in system, but not the ballots or actual voting. Not all precincts are reporting this issue. The NCSBE said wait times will be impacted slightly and they’re working to fix the issue as soon as possible.

8:25 a.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — CBS North Carolina’s Beairshelle Edmé spoke with one voter waiting to vote in Durham about what she thought about the Clinton and Trump campaigns and the importance of getting young folks in Durham off the streets and into the classroom.

7:01 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nowhere is the election-year schism more apparent than in North Carolina.

Its voters are making choices that will shape the state’s identity.

Related: Full coverage of Campaign 2016

Will they re-elect Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who has supported the General Assembly’s conservative agenda? Or will they go with toward Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate who have denounced a new state law limiting protections for LGBT people?

Donna Guthrie, a 64-year-old nurse from Raleigh and registered Democrat, said she hopes lawmakers will repeal the law known as HB2 and believes opposition to the law will boost turnout in her party.

In tiny Mount Pleasant, retired nurse Janice Guffey planned to vote a straight Republican ticket on Tuesday. She supports McCrory and the legislative leaders who enacted HB2.

6:22 a.m.

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) – More than three million people took advantage of early voting in North Carolina – for those who didn’t, polls are open today from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. across the state.

Because of Election Day, the Wake County Public School System is operating on a two-hour delay. Two schools in Johnston County are closed.

At some spots around the state, amid the voters will also be staff from the U.S. Justice Department.

About 500 staffers will serve as monitors around the country, which is fewer than the roughly 780 monitors and observers dispatched in 2012.

North Carolina is one of five states to have federal monitors. They’ll be sent to five counties in our state.

Monitors are being sent to states that have changed voting rights laws since the last election and states seen as more likely to experience problems.

Local poll workers will be voters’ go-to resource to answer questions and report any threats or intimidation.

“It is against the law to threaten a voter…we want to know about it immediately,” said Nicole Shumaker with the Wake County Board of Elections.

One easy way to avoid problems at the polls – don’t take selfies in your voting booth. The state prohibits voters from photographing a completed ballot.

6:10 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The presidential race isn’t the only race being watched closely in North Carolina and across the country – the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Deborah Ross and Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Burr is one of the tightest races in the country.

Democrats need to gain six seats in the U.S. Senate in order to regain control.

Ross will be joined by other Democrats, including Attorney General Roy Cooper, at Raleigh’s Marriott City Center hotel where they will gather to watch election results come in with members of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Ross and Sen. Burr only faced off in one debate, which was held weeks ago. Democrats are hoping that one debate, plus campaign events, will be enough for Ross to unseat Burr.

Sen. Burr has hit Ross hard in television ads and at the debate. He has accused Ross of opposing the creation of the state’s sex offender registry while she worked for the ACLU. Ross accused Burr of profiting from special interests in Washington.

Both denied each others claims.

The governor’s race here between the state’s Attorney General Roy Cooper and Republican incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory is one of the most expensive in the country.

Not only has the race been expensive, it’s also close, according to polls. Many polls have shown the race to be within five percentage points.

Cooper and McCrory have gone after each hard in campaign ads and at multiple debates.

One of the biggest divides between the two is House Bill 2. They also disagree on the economy, teacher pay, abortion legislation and more.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday here in North Carolina.

5:57 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — At the final rally of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, A-list celebrities and thousands of her supporters packed into Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.

Clinton urged people to turn out to vote today and made the closing argument of her campaign, saying that North Carolina is key to winning the election.

With just hours to go before polls opened in North Carolina, Hillary Clinton brought out some big names in entertainment who urged the crowd to get to the polls.

“I could never have imaged that I would experience in my lifetime that a woman would become President of the United States,” said singer Lady Gaga.

Along with Lady Gaga, DJ Samantha Ronson got the crowd moving.

Jon Bon Jovi flew with the Clintons to Raleigh after a massive rally in Philadelphia.

“It’s very simple: North Carolina, you know that the road to the White House leads through your state. Be the difference you want to see,” Bon Jovi said.

As people waited to get in, state Republicans were outside with energy bars and coffee, saying Clinton isn’t energizing voters the way Barack Obama did.

“Republicans are surpassing the 2012 numbers in early voting. Democrats are not. Democrats are down,” said the NCGOP’s Deputy Communications Director Emily Weeks.

With former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea beside her, Clinton told the crowd that the choice could not be clearer.

“We don’t have to accept a dark and divisive vision for America. Tomorrow, you can vote for a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America,” Hillary Clinton said.

Democrats have said that Clinton can lock up the race by winning this state.

For her supporters, this rally was potentially a chance to witness history.

“It’s not every day you get to grow up and tell your grandkids, ‘I was there the night before.’ I get to see her speak the night before the election,” said Clinton supporter Emily Callicut.

“I think we have to remember America’s already great. And so I think she has a very optimistic point of view. She knows America’s great,” said another supporter, Aminah Thompson, of Durham.

Clinton will be spending election night in New  York City. That’s where she will find out whether her last-minute push here in North Carolina was enough to win her the Tar Heel state.

Clinton also stopped in Raleigh Thursday for a campaign rally with Bernie Sanders and musician Pharrell.

5:30 a.m.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Today is the day many have been waiting for – Election Day.

The polls are set to open at 6:30 a.m. here in North Carolina.

People in Durham will not only have the chance to have their say on who runs the White House, they’ll also get to vote on how their public facilities run.

Early voting turnout in Durham County is up since 2012. Nearly 120,000 people voted early during the 17-day early voting period, officials have said. That’s 17,000 more than those who voted early four years ago.

Those numbers match the overall trend seen in North Carolina where people have made the decision to head to the polls early and face lines that sometimes were as long as three hours long.

In Durham, at stake is whether or not to take nearly $170 million of taxpayer money to use it at places like Durham’s Main Library, as well as schools and museums.

Local voters in the Bull City will see four referendum questions, all of which go towards maintaining and upgrading many public facilities.

If passed, schools will get the most money at nearly $91 million.

Recently, CBS North Carolina’s Derrick Lewis visited one of the schools that would see half of that school bond from the passage of this referendum.

The Northern High School building in many ways was quite literally being held together, whether it was the tape in an HVAC unit or handy work at other parts of the school.

Officials who back this measure say it’s necessary to get Durham schools back in line with the technology and tools necessary for students to thrive in facilities that aren’t falling apart.

This referendum would also bring bonds for community college expansion and improvement, making the library facilities bigger, specifically the Main Library. Finally, there’s also a $14 million bond for the Museum of Life and Science.

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