Early voting for primary ends Saturday, March 12

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, March 10, 2016

By Leah Justice


Polk County voters wanting to cast an early vote before next Tuesday have today and part of tomorrow.

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Early voting, or one-stop voting, ends tomorrow, Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m.

Voting can be done at the Polk County Board of Elections office in Columbus or the Mill Spring Fire Department from 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

On Friday, March 11, voting can be done at the two sites between 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

As of late Wednesday, March 9, a total of 1,450 Polk County residents had voted early, according to the Polk County Board of Elections office.

Those votes came from absentee civilians, military absentees, overseas absentees, the board of elections office and Mill Spring Fire Department.

Of the total early votes so far, Republicans cast 793 votes and Democrats 657.

Most of the votes have occurred at the board of elections office, with 509 Democrats and 602 Republican ballots cast there. At the Mill Spring Fire Department, there have been 117 Democrat ballots cast and 149 Republican ballots cast, according to totals as of Wednesday.

Registered Polk County Democrats must vote on the Democratic ticket for the primary, registered Libertarians must vote on the Libertarian ticket and registered Republicans must vote on the Republican ticket for the primary. Registered unaffiliated voters may choose which ballot they wish to vote. There is also a choice to vote on a non-affiliated ticket to only vote for a proposed referendum.

The referendum gives a yes or no choice on “the issuance of two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) State of North Carolina Public Improvement Bonds constituting general obligation bonds of the State secured by a pledge of the faith and credit and taxing power of the State for the purpose of providing funds, with any other available funds, to fund capital improvements and new facilities for the State, including, without limitation, the construction and furnishing of new facilities and the renovation and rehabilitation of existing facilities for, without limitation, the University of North Carolina System, the North Carolina Community College System, water and sewer systems, the State’s National Guard, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, attractions and parks, and the Department of Public Safety.”

The Democratic ballot includes nominations for U.S. president (Martin J. O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Roque (Rocky) De La Fuente or no preference); U.S. Senate (Ernest T. Reeves, Chris Rey, Deborah K. Ross or Kevin D. Griffin); N.C. Governor (Ken Spaulding or Roy Cooper); N.C. Lieutenant Governor (Holly Jones, Ronald L. Newton, Robert Earl Wilson or Linda Coleman); N.C. Attorney General (Josh Stein or Marcus W. Williams); N.C. Commissioner of Labor (Charles Meeker or Mazie Ferguson); N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction (Henry J. Pankey or June Atkinson); N.C. Treasurer (Dan Blue III or Ron Elmer); N.C. State Senate District 47 (Tim Murphy or Mary Jane Boyd) and to pick up to three for the Polk County Board of Commissioners (Rhonda Lewis, Russell A. Mierop, Kim Pack and Penny Padgett).

The Republican ballot includes nominations for U.S. president (Mike Huckabee, John R. Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald J. Trump, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore or no preference); U.S. Senate (Larry Holmquist, Paul Wright, Greg Brannon or Richard Burr); U.S. House of Representatives District 10 (Patrick McHenry, Albert L. Wiley Jr. or Jeffrey D. Gregory); N.C. Governor (Pat McCrory, Charles Kenneth Moss or C. Robert Brawley); N.C. Attorney General (Buck Newton or Jim O’Neill); N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture (Andy Stevens or Steve Troxler); N.C. Commissioner of Insurance (Joe McLaughlin, Ronald (Ron) Pierce or Mike Causey); N.C. Secretary of State (Michael LaPaglia or A.J. Daoud); N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction (Mark Johnson, J. Wesley Sills or Rosemary Stein); N.C. House of Representatives District 113 (Cody Henson or Coty James Ferguson) and up to three nominees for the Polk County Board of Commissioners (John Dennis Hill, Jake Johnson, Tommy W. Melton, Myron L. Yoder and Josh Denton).

The Libertarian ballot includes nominations for U.S. President (John David Hale, Cecil Ince, Gary Johnson, Steven Elliott (Steve) Kerbel, Darryl W. Perry, Austin Petersen, Derrick Michael Reid, Jack B. Robinson Jr. Rhett Rosenquest Smith, Barbara Joy Waymire, Marc Allan Feldman or no preference).

Acceptable forms of ID include a NC driver’s license, a NC state identification card, a US passport or passport card, military identification, veteran’s identification card and certain tribal enrollment cards.

For those unable to get an acceptable identification prior to the primary, exceptions will be made and those persons may still cast a provisional ballot at the polls.

Same day registration is available today and tomorrow only at the same time as early voting. Residents must be registered to vote for the primary election day.

The primary election will be on Tuesday, March 15 at all Polk County polling locations from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

For more information about the election, voting or photo identification, call the Polk County Board of Elections Office at 828-894-8181 or visit polknc.org or the state board of election website at ncsbe.gov.