CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Early voting kicked off today in Charlotte and across the state ahead of the North Carolina primary election that’s coming up on March 3.

There are 20 early voting locations in Mecklenburg County where voters are also using new voting machines for the first time in a major election.  The new equipment prints out a hard copy of a voter’s choices that can be reviewed before the vote is officially cast and counted.

“So far so good,” said Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson who said voters were adapting well to the new equipment.  He said there had been no serious technical issues as of the noon hour.

As for the ease of using the new machines that print a hard copy of the ballot, Dickerson said, “It's still a touchscreen.  I think it’s a little clearer and easier to get to.  It’s a much cleaner process.”

The 20 locations to early vote are mainly in county libraries and all are going to be open from 8:00 a.m. until 7:30 in the evening each weekday.

In 2016 nearly 50,000 people took advantage of early voting prior to the primary.   Dickerson says the number could double ahead of the March 3 North Carolina primary.