NORTH CAROLINA -

(AP) - The campaigns of President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and their parties' slates of candidates are nearing high gear as in-person early voting begins in all of North Carolina's 100 counties.
    
Voters are able to cast absentee ballots at more than 350 early-vote locations in all 100 counties starting Thursday morning and almost daily through Nov. 3. People also can register to vote and cast ballots during the same period. Traditional mail-in absentee balloting has been going for more than a month.
    
More than 2.4 million cast in-person early votes in 2008, or 55 percent of all ballots cast. Many attribute the Obama campaign's emphasis on the early vote four years ago in part to his 14,000-vote win over Republican John McCain. GOP leaders say they aren't forgetting early voting, either.