Election time is ramping up and important dates are on their way.
Tuesday is Primary Election Day, and registered voters will head to their precincts to cast their ballot.
One Stop early voting will come to an end on Saturday. You will still be able to cast a ballot on Saturday, at the Cooperative Extension, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday also serves as the last day to register to vote, if you have not done so. It is also the last chance you will have this year to change your party affiliation.
“If you are not sure if you are registered, bring your ID with you,” said Richmond County Board of Elections Director Connie Kelly.
There will be no voting on Monday, reminded Kelly. Voting will be held Tuesday starting at 8 a.m.
Persons will be casting votes for a wide range of offices, from U.S. House of Representatives to State Senate and down to local races for Richmond County Board of Commissioners and the Richmond County Board of Education.
The Daily Journal printed a Voter’s Guide on April 20, which lists the precincts voters should head to depending on where they live. The guide also shows all candidates who will be on the ballot, and what the ballots will look like for each party.
Republicans will choose their presidential candidate from Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum, although only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul remain in the race. Democrats will choose either Barack Obama or ‘no preference.’ If you plan to vote Libertarian, the presidential selection will consist of Roger Gary, R.J. Harris, Gary Johnson, Carl Person, Bill Still and Lee Wrights.
Voters should note that the selections made for the Richmond County Board of Education are final, and will not be voted on again this year. The school board is non-partisan.
If you are unsure of your voting precinct, call the Richmond County Board of Elections at 910-997-8253.
“The turn-out has picked up,” said Kelly. “I think some people just wanted to study the issues more.”
Voters will decide if they are for or against an amendment being made to the North Carolina State Constitution which would allow the state to only recognize a legal civil union between a man and a woman. This will be called Amendment One.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.
In response to a candidate questionnaire sent out last month by the Daily Journal, some candidates returned a statement, of 50 words or less. The following are their statements.
• Candidate for County Commissioner, Democrat Barbara Moton: “I will encourage small business, empower the communities, hire grant writers to help faith-based and community organizations, develop programs for our youth 13 to 18 to help prevent gangs and school drop-outs and encourage education; (Communities in Schools), Richmond Community College and the R.E.A.L. program at RCC where I got my start. Remember, we are only as strong as our communities.”
• Candidate for County Commissioner, Republican Georgia Cagle: “I am asking the people of Richmond County to vote for me, so together we can rebuild our great county, to stand with me and proudly make a change. We can no longer leave our future in the hands of a few.”
• Candidate for County Commissioner, Democrat Jimmy Capps: “I am Jimmy Capps, a local person who grew up in Richmond County (Cordova). I moved away for several years and moved back in 2007. I see a lot of potential in the county but it seems that no one cares about improvement. Elect me and I will work hard to make life in Richmond County better.”
• Candidate for School Board Cathy Wilson: “I feel that I am qualified to be a member of the Board of Education because I have many years experience in dealing with public issues. In my former job as Clerk of Superior Court I had to make many complicated decisions daily. It involved hearings, findings of fact, listening to witnesses and making a decision. It was not always easy but it always had to be done.”
• Candidate for School Board Jerry Ethridge: “I believe that all students can learn. Students should be given every opportunity to learn either by audio, visual or kinesthetic learning. I support Career and Technical Education. I believe teachers should get more support to give all students the opportunity to further their education.”
• Candidate for School Board Wiley Mabe: “We face a changing, challenging world with a global economy that is open to people that most successfully engage the opportunities provided by this environment. The days of being able to earn a good wage and provide a decent standard of living for a family are gone.”
• Candidate for State Senate, Republican Jack Benoy: “I am an optimist. I see what North Carolina can be with good leadership and proper direction. My father, a Baptist minister from Richmond County, taught me at a young age that everyone is my neighbor, and everyone has value. I am a Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Marriage, Conservative candidate for N.C. Senate District # 25 and I would very much appreciate your support.
• Candidate for State Senate Democrat Gene McLaurin: “Gene McLaurin represents new ideas and new leadership. As a businessman for over 30 years, he knows how to create jobs and manage a payroll. As Mayor, he knows how to be a good steward of tax dollars. On May 8 we need to get him working for us.”