2016-07-07 / Front Page

Early voting for July 26 runoff starts but only for those few voters eligible

Even as early voting in the July 26 runoff election started Tuesday, there is still some confusion about exactly which Wilkes County voters are allowed to take part in it.

“Some people have told me that the stories in The News-Reporter helped them understand it, even if they didn’t like it,” said Judge Thomas Charping, Wilkes County elections supervisor. “We’ll probably still have some confusion on election day, though.”

The runoff comes from the May 24 primary for the Republican nomination for the open District 24 state Senate seat in which Lee Anderson took 36 percent of the eight-county vote against second-place finisher Greg Grzybowski, who took 19 percent of the vote.

But to many Wilkes County voters, it won’t matter. Some 38 percent of Wilkes County voters cast their ballot in the primary, the vast majority in the Democratic race because of critical local races for sheriff, tax commissioner, and county commissioner. By the state’s rules, if a voter casts a Democratic ballot in the primary, they have to vote Democrat in any runoff from that race, and they can’t vote as a Democrat in the primary and as a Republican in the runoff.

But if, like 62 percent of Wilkes County voters, you didn’t vote in the May primary, or if you voted nonpartisan, you can vote in the runoff.

In the general election in November, however, voters may vote their choice, since there are no party-specific ballots in November.

Early voting by mail has already started for the July 26 primary runoff election and early voting in person will begin Tuesday, July 5, and continue through July 22, ­Wilkes County voter registrar Debbie Anderson said

Most voters wanting to cast a ballot in the primary runoff election can expect to have to choose which party’s runoff to vote in, she said. “In a runoff, if you voted Republican in the primary, you have to vote in the Republican runoff,” she said, “And Democrat primary voters have to vote in the Democrat runoff. If you didn’t vote in the primary, or if you voted independent, you can vote in either runoff.”

A photo ID is required to vote.

Registration, voting by mail, and advance voting all take place in the office of the Board of Registrars, Room 113, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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