Early voting winds down at Board of Elections

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2017

With three and a half days left in the early voting period for municipal elections in Beaufort County, the number of voters marking ballots daily appears to be increasing.

“Things picked up today (Monday),” Anita Bullock Branch, deputy director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections, wrote in an email Monday. Voter traffic at the Board of Elections on Monday afternoon was intermittent, with most of the voters marking ballots 50 years old or older.

On Monday, 60 voters marked ballots, the second-highest daily total since the early voting period began Oct. 19, when 76 voters marked ballots. Last Thursday, 54 voters made their choices. So far, the day with the lowest voter turnout during the early voting period was last Friday. There are 13 days in this one-stop voting period.

As of Monday, 408 voters have participated in the early voting option. In 2015, when the early voting period was eight days, 384 voters took advantage of being able to mark ballots early.

The Monday before early voting began, Beaufort County’s seven municipalities had a combined 9,858 voters, according to Board of Elections figures. Several people have registered to vote and marked ballots during the early voting period. Including those voters who used the same-day registration option, that means less than 5 percent of eligible registered voters are marking ballots early this election cycle.

Voting resumes at today at the Beaufort County Board of Elections, 1308 Highland Drive, Suite 104, Washington. Early voting (one-stop) will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The elections at the polls Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington and Washington Park are set for Nov. 7. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Election Day.

The curbside-voting location at the Board of Elections was used Monday, but not for voting. A vehicle with an older couple inside drove up to the location and rang the bell, prompting Scott Sheppard, an elections specialist, to respond. The couple wanted details about the early voting period, which Sheppard provided.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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