Voter deadlines coming quickly

Aug. 09, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

With early voting for the municipal primary starting in less than two weeks, several election-related dates and deadlines are fast approaching.

Absentee voting by mail begins Sunday, and the last day for voter’s to change their affiliation party is Aug. 16, according to Lee County Board of Elections Director Nancy Kimble. Two races for the Sanford City Council will be determined in the Democratic primary and, without changing their party affiliation, Republicans and Libertarians will be unable to cast their votes for those races.

The city’s next mayor will be decided in the primary, with incumbent Cornelia Olive and challenger Chet Mann vying for the seat. Ward 3 will also be determined, with incumbent James “J.D.” Williams and Ervin Fox seeking the seat.

Four candidates are in the race for the at-large district city council seat: Republicans Keith Clark and Max Dolan and Democrats Norman Chas Post and incumbent L.I. “Poly” Cohen. The Republican and Democrat with the highest vote tally will meet on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 5.

The city’s $14.5 million bond referendums items — including expanding the Endor Iron Furnace, recreational improvements, installing additional sidewalks and streetscape improvements for downtown Sanford and Jonesboro — will also be voted on, individually, during the primary.

Early voting and one-stop voting begins Aug. 22 and ends Sept. 7 at the Lee County Board of Elections office, located at 225 S. Steele St. Voting hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. City residents who have not registered to vote will be able to register and vote on the same day during early voting, Kimble said.

North Carolina’s new voter ID bill, expected to be signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, would eliminate one-stop voting and straight-party ticket voting, shorten early voting and require voters to present a photo ID. However, regardless of when or if the bill is passed, Kimble said the municipal election would not be impacted by the changes.

All of the precincts will be open during the general election, she said.