This year is an election year and the calendar is packed full of things to be aware of.
Candidate filing has closed and voter registration is ongoing. This is the time to change or update information that needs changing on file with the Board of Elections, if you have moved or changed your name since the last election.
For all election and voting questions, contact the Richmond County Board of Elections, located at 221 S. Hancock St., Rockingham at 910-997-8253.
If you are not registered to vote and would like to cast your vote in the upcoming election, you can stop by the Ellerbe Town Hall, 108 W. Page St., on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to pick up your form and learn all you need to know in order to fill it out.
“It’s something the Democratic Party decided to do at the last meeting,” said Annie Buie, a member of the party and Ellerbe native. “It’s for anyone who wants to register. It’s not just for Ellerbe people.”
If you are turning 18, you may be eligible to vote. Buie said young people helped inspire the voter registration drive.
“Our goal was to try to get as many people as we can to vote,” said Buie. “A lot of people in Ellerbe are not registered to vote. Also, we wanted to try to touch the ones who just turned 18. We want to try to get our people involved in voting and this is one way to inform them.”
The only time you can register and vote in the same day is during One Stop Voting, which starts April 19.
The Board of Elections does not maintain a list of voter registration drives in the county, so if you are hosting a voter registration event, please contact the Daily Journal.
“I don’t know all the locations,” said Board of Elections Director Connie Kelly. “People come to us and get a stack of registration forms from us.”
One thing to take note of, if you head to the voter registration event in Ellerbe on Saturday, you will need to bring the form to the Board of Elections with a valid form of identification. Whether you want to be registered Republican or Democrat won’t affect your eligibility to register to vote.
On April 13, registration books close for the May 8 Primary Election. One Stop Voting begins on April 19. May 1 is the last day to request an absentee ballot by mail for the Primary Election. May 5 is the last day of One Stop Voting. The Absentee period ends on May 7. The candidates chosen at the Primary Election will square off during the Nov. 6 General Election.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.