One-stop voter turnout higher than 2014, Election Day numbers close

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Heading into the final hours of Election Day, voter turnout was poised to trump the last mid-term election in 2014, but falling short of vote totals during 2016, the last presidential election year.

On Election Day, precinct officials throughout the county reported in at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., sharing numbers of voters from each location. By 10 a.m., a total of 2,895 people had cast their ballots throughout Beaufort County. By 2 p.m., that number had jumped to 4,915.

“For 33,000 registered voters, 4,900 at 2 p.m., I don’t know if that’s solid or not,” Beaufort County Board of Elections Director Kellie Hopkins said.

At 4 p.m., the final check of the day before polls closed, a total of 6,412 voters had cast their ballots, a number which would increase by the time polls closed at 7:30 p.m. According to the 4 p.m. numbers, the precinct with the greatest number of voters on Election Day was Surry-Bath, with 572 ballots cast.

“We get a lot of voters from 4 to 7, so that remains to be seen,” Hopkins said at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. “We’ll see how that comes in.”

Combined with one-stop voting totals, the turnout as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday was approximately 49.87 percent, with a total of 16,727 voters participating out of a registered 33,535. Final Election Day turnout numbers were unavailable as of press time.

As for one-stop early voting, 10,315 voters, or 30.76 percent of those registered cast their ballots during the 14-day period in Beaufort County from Oct. 17 to Nov. 3. In 2016, that number was 14,445, or 43.34 percent. In 2014, with only nine days during the one-stop period, 8,271 voters, or 25.32 percent of those registered, chose to vote early.

This year, the Board of Elections site saw the greatest turnout during one-stop, with 7,160 people voting there, followed by Chocowinity, with 1,797. In Belhaven, 894 voted during one-stop, with 464 casting their vote in Aurora during the same period.