Voting starts today

Published 6:22 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One-Stop Voting starts today for the second primary for the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office race.

The Board of Elections will be open for One Stop voting July 3 and July 7-11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, July 12, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second primary will be held on July 15.

According to Kellie Hopkins, director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections, there’s been some confusion as to whether One-Stop Voting would take place.

“A lot of people don’t think we’re going have One-Stop,” Hopkins said. “Every election we have we have One-Stop.”

But unlike the lead up to the May primary, the Board of Elections will not have extended hours nor any satellite offices open during this One Stop voting period, Hopkins said.

The only race at stake is that of a new Beaufort County Sheriff. Incumbent Alan Jordan, after four terms, decided last year not to run for a fifth. Two Democrats — Russell Davenport and Al J. Whitley — and two Republicans — Ernie Coleman and Harry Meredith — will be the only names on the ballots for the July 15 primary. Each was one of the top two vote-getters for their respective parties during the May primary.

Anyone can vote during the second primary, however, there are some restrictions:  an unaffiliated voter who did not vote in May primary can declare a party and vote on the Democratic or Republican ballot; an unaffiliated voter who did vote in the last primary has to stay with the political party that they chose on May 6.

Hopkins said that so far, she’s sent out 60 absentee ballots for the second primary, and, if requested, will continue to do so until July 8. To be officially counted, the ballot must have a return postmark by July 15.

With Tropical Storm Arthur bearing down on the East Coast, taking advantage of the first day of early voting might not be a priority. Regardless, the elections office will be open during its regular hours.

“I’m not sure how the public will react to (the storm), but we’ll be here,” Hopkins said.

The Beaufort County Board of Elections is located at 1308 Highland Drive in Washington. For more information, call 252-974-2962.