Sunshine, warm temps and presidential race bring voters out for 2016 primary

Mar 15, 2016

Presidential election years bring out the voters, and with Tuesday’s sunshine and warm temps, the 2016 primary is no exception.  Whether it was the nice day, political fervor, or a combination of factors, precincts in Brunswick County and downtown Wilmington were buzzing with activity.

Just before noon today, a line of voters snaked around the Belville Elementary School gym in Brunswick County.  Cars filled the parking lot to overflowing. 

Clare Heinz, Chief Judge at the Precinct, says she’s seen some people come to the wrong precinct – after some precincts were moved.  And not quite halfway through the day, she’s only encountered two people without proper voter I.D.  Those people are invited to vote provisionally, says Heinz. 

"I would say the most things we’ve had to deal with is people that are, you know, registered Democrat, they want to vote Republican or vice versa.  And, obviously, we can’t do that unless they vote provisionally.  That’s what we’re offering.  We want everybody to vote that comes in the door."

Heinz also says some people have brought in paper I.D.s from the Division of Motor Vehicles, which are not acceptable at the polls. 

"Bring your photo I.D. and just be patient, have a good time when you’re in line, visit with your neighbors and come out and vote."

Mid-afternoon in front of Cape Fear Community College’s Health Sciences Building in downtown Wilmington, Tammy Nelson and her daughter Shana explain why they voted in this primary.  Shana Nelson is a first-time voter:

"I thought that it was really important to vote because it seems like nowadays people are taking it as a joke.  And so I honestly just wanted to get my opinion out there and that way, if anything happens, I have the right to say, ‘I came to vote!’."

Her mom, Tammy agrees. 

"And like she said – it seems like a joke now – the politics and everything and it’s kind of scary."

How serious is this election to them?

"GO VOTE.  It's important.  Your life depends on it."

The polls are open until 7:30 this evening.   Voters in line by 7:30 will be allowed to vote.