BEAUFORT — Eligible voters will again be able to cast a ballot in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District with early voting opening Wednesday in the runoff election.
Carteret County will have one early voting site for this election cycle, at the County Board of Elections office, 1702 Live Oak St., Suite 200, next to the public library in Beaufort.
Registered Republican voters, unaffiliated voters who cast a Republican ballot during the April 30 primary and voters from both those groups who are registered but did not vote in the April 30 primary can cast a ballot in the runoff election.
There will be no same-day registration, and voters from other parties do not have a race to participate in.
Interim Board of Elections Director Margot Burke advised voters to “come informed” to the polls during the early voting period, which runs through Friday, July 5.
Early voting in Beaufort will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, except Thursday, July 4, when the office will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday.
There will be one Saturday early voting session during the second primary, Saturday, June 29 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Voters do not need a photo identification to cast a ballot this year.
“Second primaries often have low voter turnout, yet are just as important in the election process,” Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said in a Tuesday release. “We encourage all eligible voters in the 3rd District to take part in this second primary to decide who’s on the ballot in the general election.”
After none of the 17 Republican candidates in the April primary reached the required threshold to avoid a runoff, eligible voters must return to the polls again to make their selection. This time, however, Republican voters and unaffiliated voters who select the Republican ballot have far fewer candidates to sort through.
April’s frontrunners, Dr. Greg Murphy and Dr. Joan Perry, will be the only hopefuls on the ballot for the final nomination. Both bill themselves as conservatives ready to work with President Donald Trump.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Dr. Murphy outraised all other Republican candidates, including Dr. Perry, during the first primary. Both candidates, however, have continued targeted advertising and campaigning in the eastern North Carolina district, along with advertising key endorsements.
The Murphy campaign has touted high-profile endorsements from the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund, along with that of the House Freedom Caucus. Dr. Murphy is a urologist who has served in the North Carolina House of Representatives since he was appointed in November 2015.
Dr. Perry is a Kinston-based pediatrician running on a pro-life platform as a “political outsider.” She has been endorsed by former Congressman Sue Myrick, Congressman Liz Cheney and others.
A copy of the July 9 sample ballot can be found on Page 7A.
The winner of the runoff Tuesday, July 9 proceeds to the Tuesday, Sept. 10 general election, which was called following the February death of longtime Rep. Walter Jones Jr., a Republican who represented eastern North Carolina in Congress for decades.
Also on the September ballot will be Democrat Allen Thomas, Libertarian Tim Harris and Constitutional Party candidate Greg Holt.
As for the Republican runoff election in July, Ms. Burke said her office is ready to accept early voters Wednesday, and absentee by mail voting is well underway.
The interim director said Tuesday the office had already mailed out 41 absentee ballots and received 21 back.
Tuesday, July 2 is the final day voters can request an absentee ballot by mail. To download the request form, visit ncsbe.gov/Portals/0/Forms/NCAbsenteeBallotRequestForm.pdf.
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