Early voting for the May primaries begins this week with some new rules and regulations.
One Stop Voting in Onslow County will take place at Tar Landing Baptist Church on 3384 Richlands Highway and will begin on Thursday, April, 24 and continue until May 3.
Six Republican primaries are on the Onslow County ballot, including N.C. House District 14 and 15 and Onslow County Sheriff and Clerk of Court. U.S. Senate races will feature Democratic, Republican and Libertarian primaries. The Board of Education’s race, which is non-partisan, will be decided during the May election as well.
Voters looking to register the day they arrive at the polls as in the past will be unable to do so this year due to a state law passed in 2013 banning it. The cut-off date to register for the primaries was April 11. Voters who miss out on the primaries will have their chance to vote in the general elections in November as long as they register by Oct. 10.
According to Onslow County Board of Elections Deputy Director Kelly Horne, voters will also be asked to present a form of legal identification — either a driver’s license, a non-operating license from the Department of Motor Vehicles or a U.S. passport — at the polls to prepare for a law requiring it statewide at voting sites in 2016.
Identification is not required for either the primary or general elections this year, though those who decline to present ID will be given information on how they can obtain it.
There will be fewer days to vote for early voting this year, also per state law, which drops the timeframe from 17 days to 10.
95,010 voters were registered in Onslow County – 30,097 Democrats, 33,370 Republicans, 498 Libertarians and 31,045 unaffiliated – as of late Thursday.
Horne said she isn’t sure what kind of turnout there will be in Onslow County, but says she hopes an increased number of candidate forums will boost interest in the races. According to Horne, Onslow County had a 14-percent voter turnout for its last May mid-term primary in 2010.
“With House of Representative District 14 and 15 races and the sheriff’s race (this year), I think we’ll have at least that percentage,” Horn said. “It’s been busy around here. It’s very exciting.”
In Pender County, Republican primaries include U.S. Senate, U.S. House District 3 and 7, N.C. Senate District 8, County Commissioner District 1 and county sheriff. Democratic races include U.S. Senate and N.C. State Senate District 8. Libertarians will have a choice of U.S. Senate candidates. All parties will vote for N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice Judge, elect Board of Education members for Districts 1, 2 and 4 and decide the Malt Beverage Election. Early voting will take place at the Board of Elections office located at 807
S Walker St. in Burgaw; the Hampstead Library, located at 75 Library Road in Hampstead; and in the Shiloh Volunteer Fire Department, located at 19170 US Hwy 421, Willard.