Turnout Low So Far For Early Voting In Congressional Primary

Turnout Low So Far For Early Voting In Congressional Primary

6:51am Jun 03, 2016
The new congressional districts in Northwest North Carolina. Credit: State Board of Elections

Early voting for North Carolina’s congressional and supreme court primary ends Saturday at 1 p.m.. Elections officials had been expecting a low turnout, and early indicators appear to support that prediction.

A total of 22 candidates are running in the reconstructed 13th District, which now includes Davie County. There are more than 28,000 registered voters in Davie, but as of mid-day Thursday only about 600 had voted. Elections director Tabatha Parrish says that’s actually an improvement over past runoff elections.

“As far as second primaries in 2012 and 2014, it’s a much better turnout than those were,” she says.

It’s a similar situation in Boone, in the Fifth District. There were six early voting sites in Watauga County for the March primary, but that’s down to one for this primary. Matt Snyder is the elections director for Watauga County. He says that precinct has been averaging about 100 voters a day.

“It’s a surprisingly steady stream from 8 a.m. until the close of polls at 6. We’ve had a steady flow throughout the day. No big surges, but a steady flow.”

Snyder says he expects an overall turnout of about 4 percent for this election. Primary election day is Tuesday. The primary was separated and pushed back afer a federal court found the previous congressional district lines to be racially gerrymandered.

Lawmakers withdrew the lines for the primary, but they were still under a legal challenge. On Thursday, a three-judge federal panel allowed them to stand. 

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