Early voting for election begins Wednesday


Early voting for the Nov. 6 general election gets underway Wednesday at board of elections offices across the region.


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Early voting starts Wednesday for the Nov. 6 election that will determine a slew of state and local government races as well as the fate of six proposed amendments to the North Carolina Constitution.

Board of elections offices in Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties will offer early voting through Nov. 3. The hours for voting at each election office are nearly identical: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with weekend voting only offered on one Saturday: Nov. 3.

Voting hours on Saturday, Nov. 3, will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Camden, Chowan and Perquimans, and a little longer in Pasquotank and Currituck: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. State law made it optional for counties to extend Saturday's voting beyond 1 p.m.

The addresses for the elections offices are as follows:

* Camden: 117 N. Highway 343, Camden

* Chowan: 730 N. Granville St., Suite D, Edenton

* Currituck: 2811 Caratoke Highway, Currituck

* Pasquotank: 1409-B Parkview Drive, Elizabeth City

* Perquimans: 601 S. Edenton Road, Hertford

Voters may also update their addresses or register to vote during early voting. According to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, voters may register same-day by presenting one of the following: a state driver's license; other government-issued photo identification with their current name and address; a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document showing their current name and address; or a current college/university photo ID card “paired with proof of campus habitation.”

Voters do not need photo ID simply to vote. However, one of the proposed constitutional amendments would impose that requirement if it’s adopted.

The other constitutional amendments, if enacted, would: reduce the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement from nine members to eight; giving the General Assembly more control over the governor's appointments to judicial vacancies; lowering the state's maximum allowed income tax rate to 7 percent; adding crime victims' rights to the constitution; and enshrining citizens' rights to hunt and fish in the state.

Republican lawmakers put forward the proposed amendments, which Gov. Roy Cooper and Democratic lawmakers generally oppose.

Voters in northeastern North Carolina will also have the chance to vote on candidates for the General Assembly, various judges, county sheriffs, county commissioners and school board members. However, the region's voters will not have a choice for Congress. Third District Congressman Walter Jones, R-N.C., is running unopposed for a 13th and, he has said, final term. Jones faced two Republican challengers this spring, but Democrats failed to field a candidate against him.

State registration data show Democratic registration has ticked down over 2018, as new voters are registering as either unaffiliated or Republican.

The region's approximate partisan preferences, now and compared to Jan. 1, are:

* Camden: 28 percent Democratic, down 3 percent; 32 percent Republican, up 1 percent; 40 percent unaffiliated, up 3 percent

* Chowan: 47 percent Democratic, down 1 percent; 26 percent Republican, no change; 27 percent unaffiliated, up 1 percent

* Currituck: 20 percent Democratic, down 1 percent; 37 percent Republican, up 1 percent; 42 percent unaffiliated, no change

* Pasquotank: 45 percent Democratic, down 1 percent; 21 percent Republican, no change; 33 percent unaffiliated, up 2 percent

* Perquimans: 40 percent Democratic, down 1 percent; 27 percent Republican, no change; 32 percent unaffiliated, no change