Voters head to polls for primary elections

Published 6:01 am Saturday, May 14, 2022

Beaufort County voters will head to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots in Democratic and Republican Party primaries.
Early voters had already submitted more than 2,651 ballots as of Thursday’s update from the Beaufort County Board of Elections.
One-stop, in-person, absentee voting ended Saturday.
Early voting counts showed roughly twice as many Republican Party ballots as Democratic ones, 1,689 to 809, though the tallies from satellite sites in Aurora and Belhaven were not yet included in the partisan breakdowns as of that update, according to Kellie Harris Hopkins, director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections.
The same was true of the School Board District 6 and 8 contests, which included 39 and 21 votes reported, respectively.
Voters in the May primary elections will chose party candidates for a number of local, state and federal positions.
Topping the list of local primary contests is the race for Beaufort County Sheriff.
Republican candidates for sheriff include Scott Hammonds and incumbent Ernie Coleman. Democratic candidates include Corey Rogerson, Harold N. Bright Jr. and Petre Earl Franks Sr.
In the contest for Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, Ed Booth is the only democratic candidate on the primary ballot. Republican candidates include Stan Deatherage, Frankie Waters, Dawn Brinson Slann and Tandy Oliver Dunn. Voters will narrow that list down to three for the general election.
The May 17 primary election will also feature a first for Beaufort County, Hopkins said. Two district contests for Beaufort County Board of Education will show up on primary ballots for the first time since BOE seats were designated as partisan races starting in 2018. District 6 features republican candidates Gary M. Carlton, Sherri Clark and Michael Bilbro. District 8 includes republican candidates Butch Oliver and Donald W. Shreve.
In the race for N.C. House of Representatives District 79, Ed Hege faces incumbent Keith Kidwell in the Republican primary.
Other state and national contests include N.C. Court of Appeals Judge, NC Supreme Court Associate Justice, U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.
In partisan contests during Tuesday’s primary, voters registered as Democrat, Republican or Libertarian may only vote for the candidates for which they are affiliated, according to the State Board of Elections. Voters registered as unaffiliated (independent) may choose to vote for the partisan contests of one of the parties or may choose to vote for non-partisan contests only.
For more information on the election, voter registration and polling places, visit the Beaufort County Board of Elections website.