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Early Voting Totals High in Avery County

By Tim Gardner

There seems to be a prevalent feeling that there is as much, or even more, interest in the 2018 North Carolina General Election on November 6 in Avery County as any in the past decade. And Avery Board of Elections statistics proves that to be true.

According to Avery Board of Elections Deputy Director Caleb Hogan, early voting in the county is “higher than normal” since Early Voting began last Wednesday, October 17. He said 366 have cast their votes as of this morning and that approximately 100 county voters have already have submitted their votes by absentee ballot.

Hogan added that the large number of early and absentee votes may indicate there also will be a high voter turnout on November 6. If that happens, it will be a sharp opposite of the county’s May 2018 primary election when turnout was low as only 3,380 out of 11,724 registered voters (28.8 percent) cast ballots then.

The only location Avery voters can cast their ballots in person early is in the Board of Elections office, located in Suite 307 at the Avery County Court House, 200 Montezuma Street, Newland.

Early voting is still open every day from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday this week (October 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26) and next week (October 29, 30 and 31 and November 1 and 2) as well as on Saturday, November 3, from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is by Tuesday, October 30. All absentee ballots must be returned by 5:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Avery County offices on the General Election ballot are for Sheriff, Clerk of Court, County Commission and Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.

  Three seats are open on the County Commission. The two candidates with the most votes will serve four-year terms, while the candidate with the third most votes will serve a two-year term.

Republican incumbents Blake Vance and Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. along with fellow-Republican Dennis Aldridge and Democrat Dick Crews are seeking to fill those seats.

Incumbent Sheriff Kevin Frye is unopposed by a Democrat or other Party candidate. Neither is incumbent Lisa Daniels for Clerk of Court.

The Sheriff and Clerk of Court will both serve four-year terms.

Incumbents Bill Beuttell and Ann Coleman are running for the two seats open for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. Those are four-year seats, but a Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor election is held every two years.

Avery voters also will cast ballots for or against a local sales and use tax at the rate of one-quarter percent (0.25%) in addition to all other State and local sales and use taxes.

The Avery County Board of Elections approved a request from the Avery Board of Commissioners to add a referendum on the General Election ballot about whether to levy local sales and use tax of one-fourth cent in Avery County in accordance with state statues.

If the county’s voters approve adding the sales tax, an extra 25 cents for every one hundred dollars ($100.00) spent would be created, which could amount to as much as $690,000.00 annually. The sales tax money would be placed in the county’s General Fund and could be spent on capital projects such as for school construction and renovations.

Early voting totals and other election information will be updated up to and on Election Day by the High Country Press.

2018 Avery County Sample Ballot