Primaries, mostly, are synonymous with low voter turnout.
By the trickle of voters who made their way to the one-stop voting sites at the start of the early voting period, elections officials in the Twin Counties were prepared for more of the same. But with a week left for no- excuse, one-stop voting, the talk across North Carolina suggests there’s a storm of voters coming. We’re not talking about November. North Carolina voters are flocking to the polls to vote in the primaries.
If you want your voice heard, you can wait until May 8 and plan to navigate through long lines with the rest of the procrastinators, or you can vote early. Pick any day this week and cast a ballot.
Despite being labeled “no-excuse” voting, we find reasons and excuses to stay home instead of voting early, especially during primary voting.
- Primaries aren’t that important.
- Primaries aren’t the real deal – those elections are six months away.
- Primaries are partisan affairs.
Anyone who takes a look at a primary ballot can debunk all of these myths instantly. And many N.C. voters are finding at least one important excuse to cast a ballot.
Only those who come out to vote in the primaries will have a say in whether the N.C. Constitution will be amended to ban gay marriage. A recent report by the (Raleigh) News & Observer suggests that early voting statewide is on pace to set a record for turnout since the state implemented one-stop voting in 2000. The driving force behind the turnout, the report says, is the proposed amendment.
But there are other reasons to vote in the primary.
If Nash County residents want to participate in the referendum on the community college’s bond initiative, they’ll have to get to the polls by May 8.
Some congressional and some N.C. House and N.C. Senate races will be decided in the primary.
Voters who pick up a Democratic Party primary ballot will get to nominate a candidate to replace Gov. Bev Perdue, who isn’t running for re-election. Republicans will pick their candidate for governor as well as a candidate for president even though both races have presumptive winners.
Pick an excuse, then go to the polls.