3rd Congressional District race to be decided Tuesday

Published 6:56 pm Monday, September 9, 2019

Hurricane Dorian may have curtailed early voting in Beaufort County, but the race for the 3rd Congressional District seat will continue Tuesday, Election Day.

All regular precinct polling sites will be open Tuesday for the special election for the congressional seat previously held by Walter B. Jones Jr. Jones died in February after serving as the 3rd District’s congressman for 24 years. In the running are Constitution Party candidate Greg Holt, Democrat Allen Thomas, Libertarian Tim Harris and Republican Dr. Greg Murphy.

Polling sites will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

One Stop voting was cut short Thursday in response to the looming threat of Hurricane Dorian. The Beaufort County Board of Elections and satellite sites in Aurora and Belhaven were closed at noon on Thursday and remained closed until Saturday. Though One Stop was originally scheduled to end Friday, by executive order, the BOE location was open to voting again from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, to make up for some of those voting hours lost as Dorian made its way up the coast Thursday into Friday. Saturday, an additional 135 people voted, bringing the total of early voting ballots cast to 3,087 votes — a little under 10% of Beaufort County voters.

Beaufort County Board of Elections Deputy Director Anita Bullock Branch said that with as little notice as there was, 135 voters was a good turnout. The alert for Saturday One Stop hours went out at 7 p.m. Friday.

“Friday would have been slow, I suspect. People were busy preparing their homes, so it’s hard to know (what turnout what have been),” Branch said.

Tuesday represents the third election held so far this year. An initial primary for the 3rd Congressional seat was held in April; a follow-up primary to determine the Republican candidate for the same seat was held in July.

Municipal elections for Beaufort County’s seven municipalities will take place Nov. 5.