One Stop satellite sites open for early voting

Published 7:54 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Even as Hurricane Dorian barrels up the East Coast, an election is still being held.

One Stop satellite sites open in Aurora and Belhaven starting today. Voters have until Friday to vote early in the election to determine who will replace long-time Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr. Jones died in February, having served the 17-county 3rd Congressional District for 24 years. Those seeking Jones’ seat are Constitution Party candidate Greg Holt, Democrat Allen Thomas, Libertarian Tim Harris and Republican Dr. Greg Murphy.

Because of the coming storm and its unknown impacts, Beaufort County Board of Elections Director Kellie Harris Hopkins is hoping people will go ahead a vote before Dorian arrives.

“We are encouraging people to vote earlier. You don’t know how bad this hurricane is going to be, come Tuesday (Election Day),” Hopkins said. “The next day or two, hit your satellite sites or come into our office and get it done. We’d hate for weather to impact turnout.”

Hopkins said the BOE is prepared for the Tuesday election, even if there are power outages caused by the hurricane.

“We are going to a pure paper system on Election Day, so if we lose power on Election Day we won’t be stopped from voting. We won’t be using the laptops and printers; we’ll be using a poll book of voter labels, where each voter has a label with their information on it. That’s put on their ATV (Authorization To Vote) form, and then signed. It’s the same process as what we do with the laptops and printers, but on paper,” Hopkins said.

The satellite sites in Aurora and Belhaven are scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday. The satellite sites are located at the Aurora Community Building, 442 E. Third St., Aurora, and the John A. Wilkinson Center, 144 W. Main St., Belhaven. Those in other areas, can cast ballots at the Beaufort County Board of Elections, 1308 Highland Drive, Washington.

Tuesday evening, it was unknown how Hurricane Dorian will affect the One Stop schedule.

“The Board of Elections is closely monitoring the Hurricane Dorian and its potential effects on our One Stop sites. If there are any changes in time or location, the Board of Elections will get that out to the public as soon as possible,” Hopkins said.

In the meantime, she stressed the importance of voting before Dorian arrives.

“You may need to evacuate or you’re cleaning up your yard or you can’t get out of your yard,” Hopkins said. “You just don’t know what is going to happen.”