This Friday is the last day to register for the general election Tuesday, Nov. 6. As of this morning, 42,061 voters were registered with the Wilkes County Board of Elections.
Eligible individuals may register at the Wilkes County Board of Elections office, located on the third floor of the Wilkes County Office Building on North Street in Wilkesboro. The office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Mailed registration forms posted Oct. 12 or before will also be accepted.
In order to register to vote, you must be a citizen of the United States, be 18 years of age by Nov. 6, 2012, and a resident of the county for at least 30 days by Election Day.
Voter registration forms are available at public service agencies and the Wilkes County Public Library. Individuals who are renewing or obtaining a driver’s license may also register at the driver’s license office on School Street in Wilkesboro.
You may also register during one-stop voting for the general election, which opens Thursday, Oct. 18 and ends Saturday, Nov. 3 in the county commissioners meeting room at the Wilkes County Office Building in Wilkesboro. The hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays. The final day for one-stop voting will be Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., which is the only Saturday that voting is open.
There will also be one-stop sites open Tuesday, Oct. 30-Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Clingman Community Center, Millers Creek Fire Department and Mulberry–Fairplains Fire Department. The polls will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Nov. 3 at those locations.
Kim Caudill, the director of elections in Wilkes, said that registering before the deadline this week will save time.
“You’re not required to show your ID either when you register or on Election Day if you are properly registered before the deadline,” said Mrs. Caudill. “There is a space on the registration form in which you can put your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. That’s how we can verify your identity. Not having to show ID will speed the process for everyone.”
But those voters who have not provided their driver’s license numbers or the final four numbers from Social Security will be asked to show ID at the polls. She said that 195 of the people who have registered for the election in November have not provided either number.
Register at one-stop sites
Individuals who miss the registration deadline may register and then vote during the one-stop voting period. They must provide proof of identification (such as valid driver’s license, utility bill, bank statement, passport, government I.D., tax bill, hunting/fishing license, or paycheck stub with address) to register during one-stop voting.
The “register and vote” option will not be available on Election Day.
If you have questions about your voter registration, or registering to vote, contact the board of elections office at 651-7339.
Sample ballots for the November election are available at the elections office in Wilkesboro and online at www.wilkescounty.net/elections/election-forms-sample-ballots.
Three ballots in Wilkes
There are three different ballots in Wilkes County for this election. Voters will receive one of three depending on whether they live in the 94th, 73rd or 90th N.C. House district.
The new 94th House District includes all of Alleghany County and 93 percent of the voters in Wilkes County.
The 73rd House District includes all of both Alexander and Yadkin counties, as well as the Somers and Brushy Mountain precincts in Wilkes, and the southernmost tip of the Wilkesboro Two precinct bordering on the Iredell line.
In the 90th District are all of Surry County, plus all of Traphill Two precinct and the northernmost portion of the Edwards Three precinct.
Wilkes was moved from the 45th N.C. Senate District to the 30th District in the redistricting plan. Also in the 30th District are all of both Stokes and Surry counties.
Wilkes is still in the U.S. House 5th District.
Straight party votes
A straight party vote in the general election does not include votes for unaffiliated candidates or non-partisan offices (such as Wilkes County school board, supreme court associate justice, N.C. court of appeals, District 23 judge, and soil and water conservation district supervisor). Voters must vote separately for those contests. Also, a straight party vote does not include president and vice president.
The ballot includes the special election to decide the winner of the third seat in the Wilkes school board vote from May. Rickey B. Lankford led Coleen Bush by one vote, 5,653-5,652 following the May 8 general election vote, and two recounts.
The state board of elections ordered a new election after the county elections board found that there was “substantial evidence to believe that a violation of the election laws or other irregularity or misconduct did occur” since two 17-year-old voters in the North Wilkesboro precinct were apparently given “full ballots” which included the school board race.