By Jesse Wood
The deadline to register to vote for the 2016 primary in March is Friday, Feb. 19.
Election day for the 2016 primary takes place on Tuesday, March 15, when precinct polls across the state will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
For those not able to vote on Election Day or prefer another voting option, early voting takes place from Tuesday, March 3 to Saturday, March 12. Absentee voting by mail is also available – with the last day to request a ballot by mail being Tuesday, March 8. See elections calendar here.
2016 marks the first year of North Carolina’s controversial Voter ID law. This year voters will be asked to show an approved photo ID at the polls. Voters who request a mail-in absentee ballot isn’t required to show ID, according to the State Board of Elections.
For more information about the voter ID law, click to this state-sponsored website or look for the public service announcements and the “Be Recognized” campaign by the state to educate voters on the new rules and procedures.
Sample ballots for the primary have been released. Note that if a voter is registered as a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian, those people may only vote on their party’s ballot, according to Watauga County Election Director Matt Snyder.
“However, if someone is registered as an Unaffiliated they have 4 ballots to choose from: Democrat, Libertarian, Republican, or Non Partisan. Note that if there is a secondary primary, Unaffiliateds will be restricted to the ballot of the party they chose in the first primary. So an Unaffiliated can’t vote a Democratic ballot in the first primary and then a Republican ballot in the secondary primary,” Snyder said.
The Non-Partisan ballot will only have the Connect NC Public Improvement Bond referendum on it. The others will obviously have only their party contests on the ballot. The only contest on the Libertarian ballot is for President.
See sample ballots for Avery and Watauga counties below:
Avery County Ballots
Note that young adults that are not yet 18 years old but will be by the November election won’t be allowed to vote on the bond referendum. So 17-year-old voters will see similar ballots minus the bond referendum selection.
Republican Primary Ballot
Democratic Primary Ballot
Watauga County Ballots