BEAUFORT — Despite Hurricane Dorian lashing the North Carolina coast Thursday night into Friday, elections officials say Tuesday’s special congressional election will proceed as planned.
Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and will remain so until 7:30 p.m. All voters in line by 7:30 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.
Like other counties in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, which sweeps much of the eastern part of the state, Carteret County officials closed one-stop voting early at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. The one-stop period, which allows voters to cast a ballot early and residents to register and vote on site, was set to run through 6 p.m. Friday.
“We are going to have the election Tuesday,” Interim Deputy Director of Elections Shawne Southard said Wednesday morning.
Friday evening, under the guidance of the State Board of Elections, county officials said they would reopen the early voting period at the Beaufort one-stop site for a single-day extension.
“This is per the State Board of Elections to help anyone that was not able to early vote before the hurricane shut us down,” Ms. Southard said in an email.
The one-stop site had not closed Saturday by presstime.
In addition to shuttering early voting for the latter part of the week due to the storm, the county is prepared to open the Board of Elections office at 1702 Live Oak St. in Beaufort Tuesday as an emergency polling place.
Ms. Southard said the BOE office will be used on Election Day only if there is storm damage to one of the county’s 28 precinct locations.
“(We’ll know) Monday, hopefully,” whether or not there is damage, she noted.
On Election Day, voters must cast a ballot at their assigned precinct location. However, Ms. Southard said in the event the emergency polling place is needed, all county voters will be welcome there and voters may cast a provisional ballot at a different polling site if necessary.
“There will be a sign on the door (at the damaged precinct) instructing them,” Ms. Southard said.
The special election was called early this year following the death of Rep. Walter Jones Jr., a Republican who served the military-heavy district for decades. The seat in Congress has been empty since February.
On the ballot are Republican Greg Murphy, Democrat Allen Thomas, Libertarian Tim Harris and Constitution Party candidate Greg Holt.
For more on the storm’s impact on the late days of the race, see the story on Page 8A.
A complete list of Carteret County polling sites can be found at carteretcountync.gov/472/Polling-Places. For information on where to vote, call the BOE at 252-728-8460.
Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225; email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.