One-stop, early voting

There was a fairy steady flow of people casting ballots in one-stop, early voting Saturday at the County Office Building in Wilkesboro. By about 10 a.m. Saturday, 1,070 people had voted since it began April 28.

An earlier version of this article omitted some if the schools that will be polling places on May 17. The full list is East Wilkes Middle School gym for Edwards Precinct No. 1, Roaring River Elementary gym for Edwards Precinct No. 2, C.B. Eller Elementary gym for Edwards Precinct No. 3, West Wilkes Middle School gym for Millers Creek Precinct, North Wilkes High School media center for Walnut Grove Precinct and C.C. Wright Elementary gym for Wilkesboro Precinct No. 2.

Election Day for primary and Wilkes Board of Education races is Tuesday, May 17, but one-stop, early voting continues through Saturday, May 14.

One-stop voting is 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday (today), Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the commissioners meeting room on the first floor of the County Office Building in Wilkesboro.

By 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, 1,374 ballots had been cast in one-stop voting in Wilkes. That surpasses the 1,314 ballots cast in one-stop voting in the primaries and school board race in Wilkes in 2018.

The Wilkes Board of Elections will have 27 polling places open for voting from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 17. These are listed inside this issue.

Wilkes Board of Elections Director Kim Caudill said there are two new polling places: Mulberry-Fairplains Fire Station at 2055 Sparta Road, North Wilkesboro, for voters in Mulberry Precinct and Millers Creek Fire Station at 5200 Boone Trail, Millers Creek, for voters in Reddies River Precinct. Both replace schools and provide more space, said Caudill.

She said the McGee Natural Resources Center at 928 Fairplains Road, North Wilkesboro will again serve voters in Rock Creek Precinct No. 2 after being moved there last year.

Caudill said other schools are still polling places and voters should be conscious of traffic there when children are being dropped off or picked up. These include East Wilkes Middle School gym for Edwards Precinct No. 1, Roaring River Elementary gym for Edwards Precinct No. 2, C.B. Eller Elementary gym for Edwards Precinct No. 3, West Wilkes Middle School gym for Millers Creek Precinct, North Wilkes High media center for Walnut Grove Precinct and C.C. Wright Elementary gym for Wilkesboro Precinct No. 2.

The deadline to return absentee ballots to the board is 5 p.m. May 17 and the deadline for the board to receive military/overseas ballots electronically is 7:30 p.m. that day. The deadline for the board to receive absentee ballots by mail is 5 p.m. May 20, but they must be postmarked by Election Day.

Seven different primary ballots are in use in Wilkes. Voters will sign a form with a bar code that will be scanned to make sure they used the correct ballot.

There are two ballots for Republicans 18 and older, one for voters in the part of Wilkes in the 90th House District and the other for voters in the part in the 94th House District. Both have school board and other GOP primary candidates.

Ballots for Democratic voters 18 and older only have school board candidates and 11 Democratic primary candidates for a U.S. Senate seat. There are no other primary choices for Wilkes Democrats.

Seventeen-year-olds who will be 18 before Election Day on Nov. 8 can vote in the primary but not in school board races, so there are three different ballots for 17-year-olds. One is for Republicans in the 90th House District, one for Republicans in the 94thth House District and a third for Democrats.

The six candidates in the non-partisan race for two Wilkes school board seats are Randall (Rudy) Holbrook, Sharron Nichols Huffman, Jammie Y. Jolly, Teresa B. Ray, Tammy Stanley and Susan Marie Rochette. Holbrook and Huffman are incumbents.

With no Democratic or other opponents, GOP primaries will decide races for two Wilkes County commissioner seats, Wilkes sheriff, Wilkes clerk of Superior Court, one of three District Court judgeships on the ballot, state senator for the new 36th District and state representative for the 90th House District

With nine people running for two county commissioner seats, there is a greater chance of results close enough for a runoff. Commissioner candidates are Lori H. Call, J. Rodney Caudill, Tonya Nichols Felts, Stoney S. Greene, Randy D. Queen, Bill Sexton, Gary D. Blevins, Ralph Charlie Broyhill and Barry Bush. None are incumbents.

Incumbent Chris Shew and Eric L. Byrd are squared off in the GOP primary for Wilkes sheriff. Incumbent Regina Combs Billings and Teresa Byers Stone are in the GOP primary for Wilkes clerk of Superior Court. Byrd formerly worked in the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office and Stone formerly worked in the Wilkes Clerk of Superior Court’s office.

In the GOP primary for District Court judge seat three, one candidate lives in Wilkes (Laura Byrd Luffman) and one in Ashe County (Jonathan Jordan). There is no incumbent running due to the pending retirement of Chief District Court Judge David Byrd, who holds seat three and is Laura Luffman’s father.

There isn’t an incumbent state senator among four GOP candidates for senator for the 36th District, created in recent redistricting. They are Shirley B. Randleman and Eddie Settle from Wilkes, Vann Tate from Surry County and Lee Zachary from Yadkin County. The fourth county in the 36th is Alexander.

Incumbent Sarah Stevens of Surry and Benjamin Romans of Wilkes are in the Republican primary for 90th House District representative. The 90th includes all of Surry and six eastern Wilkes precincts: Edwards I, II and III; Traphill I and II; and New Castle.

Republican Jeffrey Elmore of Wilkes, representing the rest of Wilkes and all of Alexander in the 94th House District, has no primary opposition. He will face Chuck Hubbard of Wilkesboro, the only Wilkes Democrat who filed for a state or county office this year, in the general election this fall.

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