Voting begins Thursday
Voters across North Carolina can begin casting ballots Thursday when the early voting process begins.
A number of changes made by the N.C. General Assembly will be implemented this year, including a shorter voting period prior to Election Day, and the elimination of same-day registration and voting.
The only individuals able to cast a ballot in the primary election will be those who registered to vote before the April 11 deadline.
Legislation that condensed the voting period stipulated that the polls had to be open the same number of hours as previously. In Haywood that meant adding another polling site, said Robert Inman, who oversees the county’s election department.
In Haywood, early voting sites will be set up Senior Resource Center and Canton Library, just as in past years. A new site has been added at the Clyde Municipal building.
All polling sites must operate during the same hours, and in Haywood that will be between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday, April 26, all polling sites will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. One-stop absentee voting ends on Saturday, May 3 when the polls will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The last day to request mailed absentee ballots is Tuesday, April 29.
On Election Day, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 6.
The ballots for all parties fielding candidates in this primary will be relatively short, except for the Republican U.S. Senate race, where nine candidates are vying for the chance to represent their party in a seat now occupied by U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.
Locally, there will be a Democratic commissioner race where five candidates are vying for the chance to fill three slots. Candidates include incumbents Kirk Kirkpatrick, Mike Sorrells and Bill Upton, and challengers Kyle Edwards and Bob McClure.
In Senate District 50, Jane Hipps and Ron Robinson, Sylva face each other for the right to challenge Sen. Jim Davis in the November election.
In the 119th House District, Mike Clampitt, who sought the position last year, will face Dodie Allen and Aaron Littlefield. The winner of that race will face incumbent Joe Sam Queen.
In primary elections, those registered as a member of a recognized political party, Democrat, Libertarian or Republican, may only vote in their party's election. Those registered as unaffiliated will be able to select one of the three party ballots to vote in.