Election board pleased with early voting turnout in special election


Friday is the last day you can vote early in the primaries for N.C. 3rd Congressional District Special Election.

While low voter turnout is expected in special elections, the Pitt County Board of Elections said it is pleased with the turnout so far.

Thousands have cast their votes with even more expected to turn out the remainder of the week.

“I think people should really exercise their right no matter what time of the year the voting is going to happen,” Pitt County voter Cedrick Lee said.

Voters like Lee are casting their votes as dozens of candidates fight for the vacant seat of late Rep. Walter B. Jones (R) who died in office on Feb. 10, 2019.

“I came out to vote early because I think everyone should have a right to vote and exercise that right and pick the right person to voice their opinion,” Lee said.

A total of 25 candidates are running: 17 Republicans, six Democrats, and two Libertarians.

Lee expressed what he is looking for in a candidate.

“I think that you have to have a candidate to represent your best interest,” Lee said. “We had a lot of flooding in the past few years, and we need to make sure someone is there to help people deal with the flooding and get help after the flooding is over. We also need to make sure the environment is safe.”

Pitt County Board of Elections director Dave Davis said so far, more than 2,500 people have cast their ballots in Pitt County, the highest number across District 3.

He said it is possible that number could exceed 3,000 by the time early voting ends Friday.

He adds the last comparable special election only saw about 1,500 voters back in 2016.

“We don’t have an incumbent running and there are so many names on the ballot,” Davis said. “There are people who have run before, people who were elected before and also people new to the game, so bringing out all those factors brings out the interest.”

Davis said the places with high participation are counties close to the candidates.

“Where you are seeing higher turnout is where the candidates reside so Onslow, Lenoir, Craven, Carteret… People just going and voting for their neighbor,” Davis said.

Lee said he feels it is his duty to make his voice heard on this historic election.

“I think this is a very important position,” Lee said. “A lot of people complain about the government not doing things, but when you go out and cast your vote, you will have a say so in what happens.” 

The primary election for N.C. 3rd Congressional District Special Election will be held on Tuesday, April 30.

The general election for N.C. 3rd Congressional District will be held on July 9, unless a primary runoff election needs to be held on that date, then the general election will be moved to Sept. 10.

To find your voting location by home address or your county and precinct, visit N.C. Board of Elections Polling Place Search webpage.

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