Election stats reveal trends in Beaufort County

Published 4:35 pm Wednesday, December 26, 2018

While the 2018 general elections are in the rearview mirror, a new set of statistics released by the Beaufort County Board of Elections last week is offering insights into a number of trends during the election. From voter turnout to precinct-by-precinct information on where each candidate did best, the numbers may be of interest to local political junkies.

At the top of the list, more people voted during the early voting period than on Election Day. A total of 10,316 ballots were cast in the weeks leading up to the election as opposed to 8,791 on Nov. 6.

Far and above, the most active early voting site was at the Beaufort County Board of Elections, with 7,160 votes cast there during early voting. The Chocowinity site saw the second largest turnout during early voting with 1,797. Belhaven followed with 894 ballots cast, trailed by the Aurora site with 465.

On Election Day, the greatest turnout, percentage-wise, came from the Gilead precinct, with a 68.3 of eligible voters coming to the polls. Surry-Bath also saw good turnout, with 67.4 percent turnout. Washington Park was third highest with 64.5 percent turnout.

Election day turnout in Chocowinity ranked lowest in terms of percentage, with 47 percent of registered voters showing up to vote.

All told, 56.87 percent of Beaufort County voters participated in the general election, both during early voting and on Election Day, a number that exceeded state-wide participation rates.

County-wide, 251 people voted absentee and 21 voted under provisional ballots.

In the race for Beaufort County Sheriff, reelected Republican incumbent Ernie Coleman took all but five precincts. Democratic challenger Al Whitney saw his strongest support in Washington’s First, Second and Third precincts, as well as Edward and Aurora. Constitution Party candidate Tony Keech, while earning 2,828 votes county-wide, did not carry any precinct.

In the race for three seats on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, five candidates faced off, with Frankie Waters, Ed Booth and Stan Deatherage each winning seats.

Booth took home Blounts Creek, Edward, Aurora, Washington 1, 2 and 3, as well as Old Ford and Democrat Randy Walker won Washington Park. On the Republican side, Deatherage won in Tranters Creek and tied with Waters in the Beaver Dam Precinct. Waters, the top vote getter, was the winner the remaining precincts.

In the race for N.C. House of Representatives District 79, Republican Keith Kidwell won in every precinct in Beaufort County with the exception of three that went for Democrat Jerry Langley — Washington 1, 2 and 3.

To view the statistics in full, visit www.beaufortcountyboe.org and click “election results by precinct and voter statistics.”