Pilot Light: Early Voting Begins Today
Early voting begins today at the Moore County Agriculture Center on Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage.
Officially named one-stop absentee voting, the polling place will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for the next two weeks, then will be open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Anyone wishing to vote after that must visit his or her regular polling place on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Everyone, regardless of residence, will vote at the Agriculture Center while taking advantage of the early voting opportunity. The center is across the street from the Moore County Board of Elections office.
BALLOTS - Voters will make decisions in several contests this year, along with a state constitutional amendment.
Several local incumbents are running unopposed, including state Sen. Harris Blake, state Rep. Jamie Boles, County Commissioner Larry Caddell, Clerk of Court Susan Hicks, Register of Deeds Judy Martin, and Sheriff Lane Carter, all Republicans. Likewise unopposed is Craig Kennedy, a Republican candidate for the District 5 seat on the Moore County Board of Commissioners. This is the seat now held by Commissioner Cindy Morgan.
County Commissioner Jimmy Melton, a Republican, is opposed by Democrat William Garner.
State House Speaker Joe Hackney, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Cathy Wright for the District 54 seat. However, District 54 includes only one and a half precincts in Moore County. All other Moore County precincts are in District 52, represented by Boles.
Election officials advise that voters need not worry about choosing the right ballot because poll workers will distribute the correct ballot according to the registrant's place of residence.
Challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Howard Coble in the 6th District is Democrat Sam Turner.
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, faces two challengers, Democrat Elaine Marshall and Libertarian Michael Beitler.
Voters will also be asked to approve or disapprove of a constitutional amendment that would bar anyone convicted of a felony from serving as sheriff.
NEW - New to the ballot this year is an experiment in what is known as instant runoff voting, which is applied only to one seat on the state Court of Appeals.
Thirteen candidates are running for the seat vacated by Judge Wynn, who was recently appointed to a federal district court seat.
Voters will see three columns of candidates, each listed in the same order on the ballot. They will be asked to mark their first choice in the far left column, then to mark second and third choices as directed in the other columns. The ballot advises the voter that only first choice will be counted, and second and third choices will only be counted in the event of a runoff.
The purpose of this method is to avoid an expensive second primary election, which rarely attracts many voters.
Also on the ballot are candidates for Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and District Court judge. These judicial races are nonpartisan.
NONPARTISAN - Other nonpartisan races on the ballot include Moore County Board of Education and Soil and Water Conservation Board of Supervisors.
Six candidates are vying for three at-large seats on the school board. They are Susan McKenzie "Sue" Black, Ed Dennison, J. Dale Frye, Enola G. Lineberger, Pam Thompson and Karen M. Wicker. Black, Frye and Thompson are incumbents.
Two candidates are running for the District 3 seat on the school board, incumbent Charles R. Lambert and Johnnie J. McNeill.
Four candidates are seeking two seats on the conservation board. They are John W. Carter, Michael D. Florence, John L. McDonald and Scott Emerson Sheffield.
DEMOCRATS - The Moore County Democratic Party executive committee will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, at party headquarters, 104 North McNeill Street in Carthage.
Party chairman Jim Heim says all Moore County Democrats are invited to attend.
COBLE - Congressman Howard Coble will be in Moore County for several hours Thursday.
He will visit the new Crains Creek Middle School in the morning and will address the Moore County Republican Men's Club at Country Club of North Carolina at midday.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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