Politics & Government

In second NC primary race of 2016, voter turnout light so far

Early voting in Mecklenburg County

Early voting continues in Mecklenburg County for the June primary.
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Early voting continues in Mecklenburg County for the June primary.

Voter turnout was light this morning as congressional and state supreme court judge races wait to be decided.

Tamra Berry made a stop at the gym and then arrived at Saint John’s Baptist Church in Elizabeth around 8, hopeful that she was early enough to avoid a long line. That wasn’t a problem.

The low turnout at her precinct early Tuesday concerned her, particularly because of recent legislative actions such as passage of HB2 in Raleigh. Among its provisions, the controversial bill requires men and women to use public bathrooms that correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificate.

“I don’t think people realize the importance of local elections,” she said of the light turnout at her precinct. “With HB2, the people who you vote for locally are making those kinds of laws.”

Heading to the polls? Here’s what you need to know:

Voting day: Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

On the ballot: Voters will consider only two races: their congressman and a state Supreme Court justice. In the Charlotte area, incumbent members of Congress face challenges in the 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th Congressional Districts. Voters in the new 13th District, which runs from Iredell to Guilford counties, will choose nominees for an open seat. Two incumbents – Republican Reps. Renee Ellmers and George Holding – face off in the 2nd District.

Supreme Court Justice Robert Edmunds Jr. faces three challengers. The top two vote-getters meet in November.

Not everybody will find a crowded ballot. In some races, such as the 9th District, only one Democrat is running. That means Democrats in the 9th will only vote for the Supreme Court seat.

Who can vote: Democrats and Republicans have to vote in their respective primaries. Unaffiliated voters can choose in which election to vote.

Voter ID: A voter ID is required. The State Board of Elections describes acceptable forms of ID on its website, www.ncsbe.gov. It also lists exceptions to the ID requirement.

If you don’t have an ID, you can still vote using a provisional ballot, but you will have to return to the local board of elections and show the ID to get your ballot counted.

Weather: Partly cloudy, high near 89; 10 percent chance of rain.

Turnout: Low turnout projections – less than 10 percent – mean each vote counts more.

Voters guide: Learn more about the candidates at charlotteobserver.com/election. Visit the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections at www.meckboe.org.

Problems: Call the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections at 704-336-2133.

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