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Watauga Primary Elections Update: Turnout Low, One Stop Early Voting Ended Saturday

By Luke Weir

One stop early voting in Watauga County primary elections ended Saturday, voter turnout is low across the county and state, even after a week of satellite voting, according to boards of elections.

Watauga County Board of Elections Director Matthew Snyder said a total of 1,889 Wataugans participated in early primary voting, as of 3 p.m. Friday.

In addition to polling booths available at the Watauga County Administration Building since April 19, one stop early voting has been open daily since Monday at five locations around Watauga County. Satellite site voting ended Friday at 6 p.m.

As of 3 p.m. Friday, turnout results from early voting satellite sites are as follows: 774 voters at the Watauga County Administration Building, 795 voters at the Blue Ridge Ballroom in Appalachian State University’s Plemmons Student Union, 108 voters at Blowing Rock Town Hall, 68 voters at Deep Gap Fire Department, 71 voters at Meat Camp Fire Department, and 73 voters at the Western Watauga Community Center.

“I’m a bit surprised turnout hasn’t been heavier,” Snyder said. “I spoke with Caldwell and Wilkes Counties’ boards of elections, and their turnout is low as well.”

Meanwhile, across North Carolina, voter turnout during the early voting period is at a meager 3 percent of the total number of registered voters through May 3, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Twitter.

More than 40 percent of the early votes cast in Watauga were submitted this week at the polling site on Appalachian State University campus, outnumbering the total number of votes cast at the Watauga County Administrative Building since early voting began April 19.

Following the end of early voting, primary election day is Tuesday, May 8. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Election day polling places are based on county precincts. To look up the address of a polling place by home address or precinct, click here.

To view sample ballots for each party and learn about the final sales tax referendum vote in this primary election, click here. As always, stay tuned to High Country Press for more elections updates.