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April 13 is last day to change voter affiliation for primary

COLUMBUS — Polk County residents have until April 13 to change voter affiliation for the May 8 primary.

The primary this year will only have the Polk County Sheriff race locally, with B.J. Bayne and Ronnie Smith on the Democrat ballot, and Darryl Bailey and Tim Wright on the Republican ticket.

Other primary races include the North Carolina Senate District 47 Democrat candidates Christopher H. Rumfelt, Cheryl D. Swofford or David Wheeler,  and Republican candidates for U.S. House of Representatives District 10, Jeff Gregory, Patrick McHenry, Ira Roberts, Albert Lee Wiley Jr., Seth Blankenship and Gina Collias.  Republican candidates for district attorney for District 42 include Mary Ann J. Hollocker and Greg Newman.

Residents can register to vote by April 13 as well for the May 8 primary. After that time, registered voters may no longer change their party affiliation until after the primary. Residents may register to vote during early voting, as long as they register at the same time as voting, but registered voters may not change their party affiliation after April 13 for the upcoming primary.

During the May 8 primary, all voters registered with a party must vote on that party’s ballot. Persons registered as Unaffiliated may choose either the Democrat or Republican ballot during the primary. Registered Libertarians do not have a contest during the 2018 primary, so they will not be able to cast a vote. 

Registered voters may change their affiliation either by making the change on their voter ID card or filling out a voter registration application. The changes can be hand delivered to the Polk County Board of Elections Office or sent through the mail.

Registration applications are available at the Polk County Board of Elections Office and at the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement website, ncsbe.gov.

The Polk County Board of Elections Office can also mail an application to any resident upon request.

The Polk County Board of Elections is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located on the second floor of the Womack building, 40 Courthouse St., Columbus. The office can be reached at 828-894-8181 or polknc.org/board_of_elections_2.php.

Early voting will be from April 19-May 5 for the primary. The primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 8.

The primary will be to narrow candidates down to one per party for the general election.

The 2018 general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.