Voting has begun in primary season

Published 12:48 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

Early voting is underway across North Carolina in the lead up to the May 17 primary.


Polls opened Thursday, April 28 for early voters. In Polk County, those wanting to vote early can go to the Womack Administration Building at 40 Courthouse St. in Columbus on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., through Saturday, May 14.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox


On Election Day, Tuesday, May 17, voters can go to their usual, assigned precincts. Voters with questions may call 828-894-8181 for information.


One of the most closely watched races is the one for Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s congressional seat. 


On Tuesday, a loaded Staccato C2 9 mm handgun was discovered in Cawthorn’s luggage at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, according to the TSA. He was issued a citation for Possession of a Dangerous Weapon on City Property, a misdemeanor under City of Charlotte ordinances.


This was the second time Cawthorn brought guns in his carryon. In February 2021, Cawthorn was stopped by the TSA at Asheville Regional Airport for having a handgun and loaded magazine in his carryon luggage. 


In other bad news for the incumbent, Sen. Thom Tillis (R – N.C.) on Wednesday called for a Congressional investigation into Cawthorn for allegations of insider trading and ethics violations, as related to his promotion of an anti-Biden cryptocurrency, Let’s Go Brandon coin. 

“There needs to be a thorough and bipartisan inquiry into the matter by the House Ethics Committee,” Tillis tweeted.


And on Thursday, a poll released by Differentiators Data, shows support for Cawthorn plummeting between March and April, although it is still slightly above the 30 percent threshold necessary for him to pull through the primary and avoid a runoff. 


“Our early March survey showed Cawthorn well-positioned for re-election. But a lot has changed in the past six weeks. Negative stories about his personal behavior have seriously undermined Cawthorn’s standing with GOP primary voters in all the most important image and job performance measures,” the organization’s analysis states. 


Cawthorn’s net favorability rating collapsed from +35 to just +9, while his net job approval rating fell from +38 to +14 and his net re-election numbers turned upside down, moving from +8 to -12.


No polling has been released on the crowded Democratic congressional primary challengers.