VOTER INFO: Primary elections to be held on March 5

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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Early voting begins Feb. 15


POLK COUNTY—The North Carolina primary elections are set to be held on March 5, with early voting beginning on February 15 and ending on March 2.

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Primaries are elections that political parties use to select candidates for a general election. The general election will be held on November 5 this year. If you are not yet registered to vote, you can do so at the Board of Elections office located at 231 Ward St. in Columbus during normal business hours until the deadline on February 9. During the early voting period, voters can register at the same time as they cast their ballot.

Five different ballots will be used in this year’s primaries. There will be two separate ballots for registered Democratic voters and two for voters registered as Republican. The ballot you use will depend on whether your address is in U.S. Congressional District 11 or District 14. There is only one ballot for Libertarian voters in the county.

“In a primary, if you’re registered with a party, you’re going to have to vote using that party’s ballot,” says Polk County Board of Elections Director Cliff Marr. “If you’re unaffiliated, you get to choose which party you’d like to vote for.”

New to this election cycle is the fact that a valid form of photo identification is required to vote. Acceptable forms include a valid driver’s license, passport, military ID or a government-issued Photo ID card. 

“The thing I think I would most like to communicate is that a voter should always come to vote, even if they’re confused about the new rules or the photo ID issues,” Marr says. “Because we can always help a voter through the voting process and take their ballot to get counted.”

The Board of Elections office is located at 231 Ward St. in Columbus.

Early voting will take place at the Board of Elections office, on Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. On March 5, you must vote at your precinct’s voting location. There are seven voting locations in Polk County, which are:


  • Saluda Precinct—Saluda Fire and Rescue, 199 Walnut St, Saluda
  • Coopers Gap Precinct—Sunny View Elementary School Gymnasium, 86 Sunny View School Rd., Mill Spring
  • White Oak Precinct—Mill Spring Fire Department, 145 Old Rutherfordton Rd., Mill Spring
  • Green Creek Precinct—Green Creek Fire Rescue, 8645 NC Hwy 9, Columbus
  • Columbus 1 Precinct— Polk County High School, 1681 NC-108, Columbus
  • Columbus 2 Precinct— Isothermal Community College, 1255 W Mills St., Columbus
  • Tryon Precinct— Harmon Field Log Cabin, 117 Harmon Field Rd., Tryon


Absentee ballots are available now for those who need to vote by mail. The Board of Elections office is currently taking requests for absentee ballots and sending ballots upon receipt of valid requests. Absentee ballots must be postmarked and received by March 5.

There will be three open seats for the Polk County Board of Commissioners in the general election on November 5. On the primary ballots, you may vote for up to three candidates for your respective party to run for those open seats in the general election. There are four candidates for the Board of Commissioners on the Republican ballot.

For more information about the voting process, visit or call the Board of Elections office at (828) 894-8181.