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Beaufort County voters have 14 days to mark their ballots early this fall

The Beaufort County Board of Elections, following a provision in a new law, has approved a schedule for early voting for the upcoming Nov. 6 general election.

The four-member board unanimously adopted the schedule during its meeting Tuesday. Beaufort County voters will be able to mark ballots on 14 days out of the 17-day schedule. Early voting sites will not be open on Sundays or Saturdays, except for the Saturday just before Election Day.

If the vote for the county’s schedule had not been unanimous, the N.C. State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, under state law, would have developed a schedule for the board to follow. The state board has done that at least twice this month. The deadline for a county to submit a schedule is today.

Beaufort County’s early voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the following days: Oct. 17 through Oct. 18, Oct. 22 through Oct. 26 and Oct. 29 through Nov. 2. On Nov. 3, a Saturday, early voting occurs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The early voting sites are at the Board of Elections office, 1308 Highland Drive, Suite 104, Washington; Aurora site, Aurora Community Building, 442 Third St.; Belhaven site, John A. Wilkinson Center, 144 W. Main St.; and Chocowinity site, Chocowin­ity Volunteer Fire Depart­ment, 512 N.C. Highway 33 East.

The May 8 primary winners move on to the Nov. 6 general election. That means Beaufort County Commissioner Jerry Langley, a Democrat, and Keith Kidwell, a Chocowinity resident and former chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party, take on each other to represent District 79 in the North Carolina House of Representatives. The district includes all of Beaufort County and 12 precincts in the northern part of Craven County.

Incumbent Sheriff Ernie Coleman, a Republican, and Democratic challenger Al Whitney will face each other in the general election, as they did in 2014, with the addition of Tony Keech Jr., who will run as a nominee of the Constitution Party.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, who survived challenges by Phil Law and Scott Dacey in the Republican primary to choose that party’s nominee to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District, faces no opposition in the general election.

Three seats on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners are available this election cycle. Two Democrats — Randy Walker and incumbent Ed Booth — and three Republicans — incumbent Frankie Waters, Stan Deatherage, a former commissioner, and Tandy Dunn — are board candidates.

Clerk of Court Marty Paramore, a Democrat, is seeking re-election. He is unopposed.

2nd Judicial District Attorney Seth Edwards faces no opposition in his re-election bid.

Beaufort County resident C. “Chuck” Earley Jr., a Republican, is seeking to represent District 3 in the North Carolina Senate, a position currently held by Erica D Smith, a Democrat from Henrico. Smith is seeking re-election.

In the Beaufort County Board of Education contest, incumbents E.C. Peed, District 2; Terry Williams, District 4; Michael Bilbro, District 6; and Butch Oliver, District 8, are seeking re-election. They are unopposed.

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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