Voters across the state are headed to the polls today to cast their ballots in the 2014 primary election. Results will determine North Carolina’s U.S. Senate and House candidates, as well as state-level Senate, House and Supreme Court judge candidates going into the November general elections. Today’s election will also whittle down candidates for school boards, and for county offices from commissioner to sheriff.
And despite a slew of first-time election law changes, New Hanover County is on track to net a similar—or better—turnout than it did during the last non-presidential primary election, in 2010.
That primary attracted about eighteen percent of registered voters. This is according to New Hanover County elections director Marvin McFadyen, who says that for the past several months, the board of elections has been educating citizens about new changes to provisional ballots, one-stop voting, ID requirements, and the early voting period, which was shortened from seventeen to ten days.
Based on early voter turnout, McFadyen predicts that this year’s primary will attract about twenty percent of New Hanover County’s registered voters.
"In a primary election for an even-numbered year that’s not a presidential election, we would compare numbers to similar elections from previous years. So 2014 would be compared to 2010. And when we look back at the numbers from 2010, obviously your voter registration numbers have increased, but we did have a higher turnout—overall turnout—regarding total voters than we did in 2010, with seven fewer days for voting."
New Hanover County’s polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. McFadyen says the most important thing for voters to know is their precincts and polling places.
***For information about your voter registration status, polling location and sample ballots, click here.