“We’ve had three people so far, and we opened at 8 a.m.,” said Connie H. Kelly, Richmond County director of elections about noon. The run-off voting started Thursday and will end on June 19. During early voting for the primary election 3,721 people voted early.
The board of elections is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on the last day they will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Turnout isn’t expected to be heavy.
“I wouldn’t predict 10 percent of the people voting statewide,” Kelly said.
“We would be lucky if we get 20 percent,” said Republican Party Chairman Lee Butler. “But, I do hope that a lot of people come out to vote.”
This election will determine who will represent the Democratic party in the race for U.S. Senate. The choices are Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham. The winner will face incumbent Richard Burr in November. The U.S. Congress, district 8 race will be between Republicans Tim D’Annuzio and Harold Johnson. The winner will face Larry Kissell in the fall.
Kelly said these elections aren’t for local office because they are for U.S. Congress and the House of Representatives.
“This is not local, but the decision will impact us,” said Kelly.
“I think that this election is very important,” Butler said. “This election is like taking a fine tooth comb over the first one, trimming the candidates down.”
Butler says this election is the chance to get the direct choice without having to scroll through a full list of candidates.
“I feel like this election is just as important as the primaries,” said Hilda Pemberton chairperson of the board of elections said.
“Run off elections may be looked over due to the fact that the public may not always be informed,” Butler said. “I feel like they don’t know its going on.”
“The numbers have been shamefully low in the past,” Pemberton said.
“Advertisement is the reason that people don’t know about the second primary,” said Dobbins Heights Mayor and Democratic Party Chair Antonio Blue. “Early voting has been successful in the past.”
“The process is not complete, until there is a nominee for each race,” Pemberton said.
“You have 13 chances to vote, this way it can be done early and no one will miss out on a opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” Blue said. “People need to go out and vote for the best person for the job.”
Absentee ballots are available by mail. All 16 polling stations will be open on election day, June 22 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Hollie Nivens can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 19 or by e-mailing at firstname.lastname@example.org