Election polls open today

Published 2:21 pm Monday, November 5, 2012

Polk votes 43 percent early

Election day is today with seven polling locations open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. in Polk County.

Polk has already voted 43 percent of its registered voters, or 6,618 total, according to the Polk County Board of Elections. Early voting ended Saturday, Nov. 3 at three Polk locations. The final early voting totals do not include absentee ballots. Absentee ballots were due yesterday, Nov. 5 by 5 p.m. at the Polk County Elections Office.

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The Polk County Board of Elections Office saw the most early votes out of the three locations with 4,494 total. The Green Creek Community Center saw 1,192 early votes and the Mill Spring Fire Department voted 932.

Democrats led early voting by 38 votes over Republicans (not including absentee ballots). There were 2,344 democrats who voted early, compared to 2,306 Republicans who voted early, 1,954 Unaffiliated and 14 Libertarians, according to the Polk County Elections Office.

This year’s early voting was a substantial increase over the 2010 election, but did not come close to early voting from the last presidential election in 2008.

Polk’s 6,618 this year was over 2,500 more than early voting in 2010 which was 4,049 (not including absentee ballots). During the 2008 presidential election, Polk County voted 7,850 early, including absentee ballots.

The 2008 total election voted 70 percent of Polk’s registered voters, or 10,790 total votes, which was a record for the county. During the 2010 election, Polk County turned out almost 53 percent of its registered voters at 7,891 total votes.

The 2006 election saw 7,788 total votes in Polk County.

Polk County added a few new voters to its registered voter list during early voting this year. Registering to vote or changing party affiliations is no longer possible for this election.

The county now has a total of 15,290 registered voters.

After the first day of early voting on Oct. 18, Polk County had 15,210 registered voters. Polk’s registered voters continue to increase with 14,934 registered voters following the 2010 election.

Republicans still lead in the number of registered voters in Polk County, with currently 5,357 registered to vote and Unaffiliated voters close behind with 5,011 registered voters. There are currently 4,880 registered Democrats in Polk County and 42 registered Libertarians.

This is the first election Unaffiliated voters have totaled more in Polk County than registered democrats.

Voting can be done today at seven locations in Polk County. Columbus 7 voters can go to the Polk County High School; Columbus 8 at the Polk County Isothermal Community College; Coopers Gap at Sunny View Elementary School; Green Creek at the Green Creek Community Center; Saluda at the Saluda Fire Department; Tryon at the Harmon Field Log Cabin and White Oak at the Mill Spring Fire Department.

See election results in the Wednesday, Nov. 7 edition of the Bulletin.

Polk County polling locations:

Columbus 7 Precinct

Polk County High School, 1681 E. NC Hwy 108, Columbus, NC 28722

Columbus 8 Precinct

Isothermal Community College, 1255 W. Mills St., Columbus, NC 28722

Coopers Gap Precinct

Sunny View Elementary School, 86 Sunny View School Rd., Mill Spring, NC 28756

Green Creek Precinct

Green Creek Community Center, 25 Shields Rd., Tryon, NC 28728

Mill Spring Precinct

Mill Spring Fire Department, 66 School Rd., Mill Spring, NC

Saluda Precinct

Saluda Fire Department, 199 Walnut St., Saluda, N.C. 28773

Tryon Precinct

Harmon Field Log Cabin, 299 Harmon Field Rd., Tryon, N.C.