Campaign signs

Voters navigate around a hedge of campaign signs at the Morehead City No. 4 voting facility at Open Door Baptist Church during the November 2016 election. (Dylan Ray photo)

BEAUFORT — With workers trained and ballots printed, the County Board of Elections will open three one-stop early voting sites Thursday morning for the state’s 2020 Primary Election.

Carteret County voters can visit the sites weekdays through Friday, Feb. 28 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to make their selections. The sites will also be open one Saturday, Feb. 29, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

One-stop sites in Carteret County are at the County Board of Elections at 1702 Live Oak St. in Beaufort, the Western Park Community Center at 275 Old Highway 58 in Cedar Point and Fort Benjamin Park Recreation Center at 100 McQueen Ave. in Newport.

Any county voter can cast a ballot at any of the three early voting sites, and voters are not required to present a photo ID for this election.

“We’re packing bags and ballots today, getting all that ready” for delivery Wednesday, County Board of Elections Director Caitlin Sabadish told the News-Times Tuesday afternoon. “We’re ready to rock and roll.”

The North Carolina primary election, set for Tuesday, March 3, begins with the early voting period, and winners will move on the to the 2020 General Election, which includes the race for president, set for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Along with a long list of contenders for presidential party nominations, on the primary ballots are a slew of state, district and county races.

One county commissioner, Bob Cavanaugh, faces a Republican primary challenger, Chimer Clark Jr.

Several County Board of Education races are creating buzz, as well. Two Democrats, incumbent Jake Godwin and newcomer Jennifer Johnson, and two Republicans, Jerry Buttery and Katie Statler, are running to be on the November ballot for the board’s District 2 seat. Two Republicans are also in a primary for the panel’s District 4 opening, incumbent Travis Day and challenger Andrea Phillips Beasley.

A list of primary sample ballots can be found at carteretcountync.gov/799/Sample-Ballots.

Ms. Sabadish said this week she expects the early voting period to be busy, particularly for the first couple days and the Saturday session on Feb. 29. In preparation, her office ordered ballots based on 2016 turnout and have prepped for “that big rush.”

During the one-stop period, residents not currently registered to vote can do so and cast a ballot the same day. Those already registered can update their addresses but cannot change party affiliation.

“The deadline to change parties was (Feb. 7) … no changing parties at this point,” Ms. Sabadish reminded voters Tuesday.

Unaffiliated voters have their choice of Republican, Democratic or Libertarian ballots.  

Those unable to make it to their early voting site or visit the polls March 3 have the option of voting absentee. To request an absentee ballot, submit the form found at s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/Forms/NCAbsenteeBallotRequestForm.pdf to the county elections office.

Disclosure: Ms. Beasley is the daughter of News-Times owners and publishers Lockwood and Nikki Phillips.

Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225; email jackie@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.

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