BEAUFORT — Carteret County voters are reminded Tuesday is Election Day for the 2019 municipal races.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at 17 precincts throughout the county and remain open until 7:30 p.m. Anyone already in line by 7:30 p.m., even if still waiting, will be able to cast a vote.

This year’s races are for municipal seats, so those living outside a town’s jurisdiction can’t vote. Residents in Morehead City, Newport, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, Cape Carteret, Cedar Point, Peletier and Bogue should plan to hit the polls this week.

To view candidate statements for this year’s election, visit carolinacoastonline.com/elections/

Voters in Cape Carteret will consider a referendum question on the ballot in addition to mayoral and commission seats this year. The question reads “Shall the ordinance adopted by the Town of Cape Carteret on Oct. 8, 2018, which would change the Town’s form of government from the current Council-Manager form of government (Town Manager), to a Mayor-Council form of government, be approved? Yes or No.”

The referendum question stems from a controversial series of commission votes in early 2018 to change the town’s form of government and promote then-Administrator Zach Steffey to town manager. After another controversial vote to fire then-Police Chief Tony Rivera, some residents circulated a petition to pose the form of government question to voters as a referendum.

The petition received enough signatures to be added as a question on the ballot last year, but the town board rejected it on technical terms and scheduled the referendum for the 2019 election instead.

The one-stop early voting period ended Friday, with 1,442 voters casting ballots at three locations throughout the county, according to the county Board of Elections. Of those, 549 votes were cast at the BOE office in Beaufort, 146 were at Fort Benjamin in Newport and 747 were cast at Western Park in Cedar Point.

Those who wish to request an absentee ballot may do so by Tuesday. All absentee votes postmarked by 5 p.m. Tuesday and received no later than three days after Election Day count toward the final vote.

Election results are finalized on Canvass Day on Friday, Nov. 15, when elections officials validate ballots.

For election coverage the night of the municipal elections Tuesday, follow the News-Times on social media and at the website carolinacoastonline.com

Contact Elise Clouser at elise@thenewstimes.com; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

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