ELIZABETHTOWN — Voter turnout has been steady as of Wednesday afternoon for the one-stop voting process. One-Stop Voting continues through Saturday, Nov. 1.
Board of Elections Director Larry Hammond told the Journal that by 4 p.m. today, he expects between 4,700 and 4,800 voters to go to the polls early. On Wednesday afternoon, 3,455 voters had either voted by absentee ballot or used the one-stop voting process.
Hammond expects a large number of voters to cast ballots during the election season — about 14,000 to be exact.
“I’m expecting to vote about 6,000 to 7,000 early,” said Hammond of the turnout. “That would be incredible and that would be a good thing.”
In the May primaries, Bladen County had about 9,000 of its 20,983 registered voters cast ballots.
The voting is going smoothly, according to Hammond, and has been steady.
“We were slammed the first day. We just had an inordinately large amount of people come out on the first day,” said Hammond. “Since that time, I’ve not heard of anyone having to stand in for more than 15 minutes with the exception of the first day.”
A few minor glitches have been reported.
“We had a couple of minor paper jams, but there was no significant issue,” said Hammond.
The paper jam occurred in the paper trail on the computerized touch screen voting machines, but did not affect the actual votes cast on the machines, said Hammond.
“The machines are working perfectly,” said Hammond.
According to Hammond, some folks in their 70s and 80s are turning out to vote for the very first time.
Registration for the general election to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 4, closed on Oct. 10. The only way a person who has not yet registered to vote can register and still vote is to go to one of the one-stop sites located throughout the county, said Hammond. One-stop sites are located at the Bladen County Public Library in Elizabethtown; the Lions Club building in Dublin; the Historical Building in Bladenboro; and the town hall at East Arcadia.
As if heavy voter turnouts aren’t enough to worry about, Hammond said that someone is perpetuating a myth that all votes cast during the one-stop period only count in the event of a tie.
“That is not true,” said Hammond.
The vote totals of those who cast their ballots early will be projected at the beginning of the early returns at 7:30 p.m. on election night.
Hammond urges residents who have questions regarding the election process to contact the board of elections directly at 862-6915.