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BEAUFORT — Early voting for the 2022 county and statewide general election is set to end Saturday, and as of Thursday morning, more than 23 percent of Carteret County’s 54,564 registered voters have already cast ballots.

As of Wednesday, according to state records, there were 25,019 Republicans, 9,652 Democrats, 19,560 unaffiliated, 332 Libertarian Party members and one Green Party member in the county.

A total of 12,729 early votes had been cast through the close Wednesday night, including 4,825 at the Carteret County Board of Elections office in Beaufort, 4,231 at Fort Benjamin Park in Newport and 3,673 at Western Park in Cedar Point.

Caitlin Sabadish, county elections director, said Thursday those numbers are good for a mid-term election here. In the 2018 general election, there were 14,994 early voters.

“With three days left, I would expect us to exceed that,” she said. “We’re steadily doing between 300 and 500 at each site daily.”

There have also been a significant number of absentee votes, Sabadish added. According to the state Board of Elections website, as of noon Thursday, there had been 595 absentee by mail-in ballots in the county.

Sabadish said there had been no problems at the sites so far, and she expects a high turnout of voters on Election Day.

Those voters will head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots that will help decide statewide races, although locally there is no competition.

For county commission, incumbent Republicans Chuck Shinn, Mark Mansfield and Chris Chadwick, plus newcomer David Quinn, face no opposition from Democrats. The same is true of Republican school board candidates Dana Mull, Clark Jenkins, Brittany Wheatly and Kathryn Chadwick; Republican Sheriff Asa Buck; Republican Clerk of Court Ken Raper; Republican District Attorney Scott Thomas; and Republican Register of Deeds Karen Hardesty.

On the state level, Republican incumbent Norman Sanderson faces no opposition in the election for state Senate District 1, which includes Carteret County. County residents do have choices in the race for House District 13, as Celeste Cairns, a Republican from Emerald Isle, squares off against Democrat Katie Tomberlin of Newport for the seat held by Pat McElraft, a Republican who has been in the seat for eight consecutive two-year terms and is retiring.

On the federal level, the key races in North Carolina are for House District 3, where incumbent Republican Greg Murphy faces Democrat Barbara Gaskins of New Bern, and the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Richard Burr. Democrat Cheri Beasley, a former state Supreme Court judge from Raleigh, opposes Republican Ted Budd also of Raleigh. He is seeking to move from the U.S. House, where he has served since 2017.

Polls will open at 6:30 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Before that, there will be early voting Friday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. be at the Carteret County Board of Elections office at 1702 Live Oak St., Beaufort; Fort Benjamin Park at 100 McQueen Ave., Newport; and Western Park, 275 Old Highway 58, Cedar Point. Early voting began Oct. 20.

To see the entire Carteret County ballot, go to: https://er.ncsbe.gov/?election_dt=11/08/2022&county_id=16&office=ALL&contest=0

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

(1) comment

FXURFCE

I wonder how many of these candidates could possibly run and win on their own merits and not because they have (R) behind their name or are already related to someone serving on another board. Why is it you know that a party is corrupt and inapt do you consistently vote the less than experienced or lacking of a moral compass. Come on folks this is just wrong on so many levels. Why not vote on merit and character rather than political affiliation. Im stepping off the soap box.

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