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November 7, 2016
45%of Pamlico County’s voters cast their ballots by the time the 2-1/2 weeks of early voting ended on Saturday. 4366 made their way to the County Courthouse in Bayboro to vote over the last 2-1/2 weeks. That’s more than the 4100 who voted early in the last presidential election in 2012, but about 200 votes shy of the record turnout in 2008.The Pamlico County Courthouse was the one Pamlico County site for 15 days of early voting. Volunteers from both parties were on duty outside to give one last pitch to voters.
The biggest participation in early voting came from voters in the Oriental precinct. 1113 voters – 53.6% of the 2075 registered here – cast ballots. (See table below for all tn precincts.)
Of the county’s 10 precincts, Hobucken had the lowest percentage of early voters at 14%.
Countywide, the early voters, by affiliation, included 1818 registered Democrats, 1449 Republicans, 1093 Unaffiliated and 6 registered Libertarians. 156 registered to vote during the early voting period.
(Not included in these tabulations are the 203 mailed-in absentee ballots that were received as of Saturday.)Campaign signs cast longer shadows outside the Pamlico County Courthouse as Friday’s sun dropped. The voting room at the courthouse – the one Pamlico County site for early voting – stayed open from 8a-8p Thursday and Friday.
The biggest turnout was Friday, when 412 voted between 8a and 8p. At times, elections officials said, there was a line extending down the hallway “to the soda machines.”
Friday was one of two 12-hour voting days in the 2-1/2 week voting period whivch would have been shorter under the voting laws passed by the Republican majority in the NC Legislature.
But this summer, a federal court overturned those laws on the grounds that they “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.” County boards of election were then tasked with amending their early voting laws.
Locally, Elections Supervisor Lisa Bennett and Delcine Gibbs, the one Democrat on the County Board of Elections, appealed to the NC Board of Elections to more fully restore the early voting hours than the Republican majority on the Pamlico Board – Chair Jennifer Roe and Russ Richard – had proposed.
The state board – which had a GOP majority – paved the way for the more expanded hours.Campaign signs outside the Pamlico County Courthouse, where voters more than 4300 voters cast early ballots in this fall’s elections..
Here is the breakdown of early voting by precinct:
Precinct Early Registered EV %
Oriental 1113 2075 53.6%
Arapahoe 1108 2174 51%
Bayboro 770 1471 52%
Alliance 227 506 43.6%
Stonewall 210 460 45.6%
Grantsboro 395 969 40.7%
Reelsboro 579 1451 40%
Hobucken 28 201 14%
Mesic 72 221 32.6%
Vandemere 67 225 30%
Posted Monday November 7, 2016 by Melinda Penkava
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