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1,400+ Early Votes Tallied So Far; Education Candidates, Marriage Protection Amendment Spur Civic Interest

By Jesse Wood

A woman hands out pamphlets on 'Why You Should Vote Against the Amendment" in front of the Watauga County Courthouse. Photo by Ken Ketchie

April 26, 2012. So far, more than 1,400 people have voted during the early one-stop voting for the primary election in Watauga County. This figure is higher than usual, according to election officials. Jane Hodges, director of Watauga County Board of Elections, said that runoffs involving local candidates for county commissioner, sheriff, or in this case, school board receive a higher turnout. 

Also, the highly contentious Marriage Protection Amendment, which states that the only legal domestic union is between a man and a woman, has spurred interest in this year’s primary election.

“It has. We are amazed,” said Hodges. “People are strongly one way or the other.”

In 2010, local election officials saw more than 7,500 one-stop ballots filed. This year, 1,428 people have one-stop voted since April 19, when voting began. Also, 43 people have absentee voted. Comparing the premature one-stop figures to the 2010 one-stop figures, so far, more than 20 percent of 2010’s figure has already been filed. And one week of one-stop voting is still left. One-stop voting ends on Saturday, May 5, at 1:00 p.m.

For more information about one-stop voting or about Watauga County Board of Elections, click to http://www.wataugacounty.org/main/App_Pages/Dept/BOE/home.aspx

Dates and Times for One‐Stop voting for the May 8th Primary:

  • Boone Town Hall Chambers: April 30, Monday – May 4, Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. 
  • ASU Plemmons Student Union: April 30, Monday – May 4, Friday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. 
  • Watauga County Courthouse, Courtroom B: 
    Thursday, April 19 – Friday, April 20, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 
    Monday, April 23 – Friday, April 27, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 
    Monday, April 30 – Friday, May 4, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 
    Saturday, May 5, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Important Dates to Remember: 

  • Absentee ballot requests due: Tuesday, May 1
  • One-stop voting ends: Saturday, May 5
  • Voter absentee ballots due: Monday, May 7, by 5:00 p.m.
  • If mailed, postmarked by election day and received by: Friday, May 11, 5:00 p.m.
  • Absentee ballot requests for ill/disabled voters due: Monday, May 7, 5:00 p.m.
  • 2012 primary election: Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.