Primary election set for Tuesday, May 8

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We’re less than six weeks away from the primary election and voters in Stokes County will choose which names will be on the November 6 ballot.

If you are registered as a Republican, you will be picking candidates for U.S. House of Representatives District 5 (incumbent Virginia Foxx, Dillon Gentry or Cortland J. Meader, Jr.) and three Stokes County Board of Commissioners (incumbent Ernest Lankford, Boh Mabe, Rick Morris, Andy Nickelston, Devin Parrish, Andy Stevens, Jamie Yontz, Wayne Barneycastle, Allen Brown and Jamie East).

Registered Democrats will pick a candidate for US House of Representatives District 5 (Jenny Marshall or DD Adams).

“We have 10 Republican candidates for county commissioner on the ballot in May. The top three vote getters will advance to the November elections,” said Stokes County Board of Elections Director, Jason Perry. “Since Greg Collins and Steven Hewett were the only two Democrats to file, they’ll automatically advance and there’s no need for a vote.”

Absentee Mail-In Voting

A registered voter must complete and sign an Absentee Ballot Request Form, or have a near relative complete and sign the form on the voter’s behalf. The request form is available at www.co.stokes.nc.us/vote, or by contacting the Board of Elections office at 593-2409 or stokes.boe@ncsbe.gov. A request, made on something other than the specific form, cannot be accepted.

Perry said the form should be fully completed, including identification number of the voter (NC License or DMV-issued ID, or last four digits of Social Security number).

When returning the ballot, a voter should ensure that the certification that’s located on the back of the return envelope has been completed. This certification consists of the voter’s signature, and the signatures and street addresses of two witnesses (or one witness who is a notary public).

The deadline is May 1 at 5 p.m. to make this request and May 8 at 5 p.m. to return the ballot and application, or postmarked by May 8 and received by the office within three days.

Voter Registration

Voter registration does not transfer from another state or another North Carolina county. An individual who has resided in Stokes County for at least 30 days prior to Election Day, but not yet registered to vote in Stokes County, must complete, sign, and submit a registration form to the Stokes County Board of Elections. The standard, statewide registration form is available at the elections office, local libraries, and at www.co.stokes.nc.us/vote. A Stokes County resident can also call the elections office at 593-2409 to have a form mailed to their home.

The deadline to complete and submit a registration form is April 13 at 5 p.m. The deadline to provide an update (name change, address change within the county, or change in party affiliation) to an existing registration; may be accomplished by filling out a registration form with the updated information by April 13 at 5 p.m. A registration postmarked by April 13tis considered timely.

Perry said if faxing a registration, the deadline is also April 13 at 5 p.m. However, if a voter is registering for the first time in Stokes County, or is an existing county voter who wants to change party affiliation, the original registration form that was faxed must then be received by mail (or delivered in-person) by April 18 in order to complete the registration process.

A 17-year-old who will be 18 by the November 6 general election may vote in the primary. The registration deadline is the same. An existing county voter cannot change party affiliation after the registration deadline.

A person who is registered as ‘Unaffiliated’ may vote in the primary. An Election Day poll worker or one-stop worker will ask such a voter what ballot is desired (for this primary, the two options are the Democratic ballot or the Republican ballot). A voter can check his or her registration status by visiting www.co.stokes.nc.us/vote and clicking on ‘Check Registration/Polling Place/Sample Ballot’ or by contacting the Stokes County Board of Elections office.

One-Stop Early Voting

April 19 – Starts at the elections office in Danbury

April 30 – Starts at the King Library and Walnut Cove Fire Department

May 5– Ends at all three sites

The schedule can be found on the elections website, or by contacting the office. Any registered voter in the county can go to any early voting site during this period and vote; on Election Day, voters should go to the polling place they’re assigned to, which is based on where they live in the county.

If necessary, Perry said a previously registered county voter can also update name or within-county address during one-stop early voting, but cannot change party affiliation during this period.

Same-day registration, the process of registering and voting at a one-stop early voting site at the same time, is available during the early voting period. If an individual misses the traditional registration deadline and has resided in Stokes County for at least 30 days prior to Election Day, they may go through the same-day registration process. Documentation that includes the person’s current address will have to be shown to an early voting worker. Options include driver license, other government photo ID, a current utility bill, bank statement or paycheck.

Election Day

On Tuesday, May 8, all polling places open at 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Unlike one-stop early voting, a voter is assigned to a specific polling place on Election Day. A voter should ensure their registration information is correct by visiting www.co.stokes.nc.us/vote and clicking on ‘Check Registration/Polling Place/Sample Ballot’ or by contacting the office.

Perry said if a voter has moved within the county but out of their previous precinct, hasn’t updated their voter registration, and shows up at their old polling place on Election Day, they’ll have to be transferred to their new polling place. Also, if such an individual shows up at their new polling place, they may have to vote a provisional ballot. Updating voter information prior to Election Day is strongly recommended.

A voter who is registered Unaffiliated (often referred to as ‘independent’) may participate in a primary. In this year’s primary, such a voter can choose between the Democratic or Republican ballot.

Individuals affiliated with the Libertarian Party in Stokes County are not eligible to vote in this primary. Voters who are registered as Democrat, Republican, or Unaffiliated may participate.

For this primary, there are two styles of ballots – the Democratic ballot and the Republican ballot. A Democratic voter will receive the Democratic ballot, a Republican voter will receive the Republican ballot, and an Unaffiliated voter will choose between the two. A sample ballot may be obtained from the county elections website (click on ‘Check Registration/Polling Place/Sample Ballot’ and type in name, year of birth, and county) or by contacting the county elections office.

Perry added, the Election Day voting site for West King precinct is now located at King Public Library (101 Pilot View Dr.). Voters who reside in this precinct will go there instead of the American Legion building as in years past.

Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.

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Primary election voting information