10/22/06 — Early voting turnout strong

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Early voting turnout strong

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 22, 2006 2:10 AM

Although Wayne County residents are not casting ballots for a presidential or gubernatorial race, more than 600 voters have already been to the polls to get a head start on November's general election, officials said Friday.

One-stop early voting began Thursday morning at the Wayne County Public Library in advance of the Nov. 7 election. Voting will continue each weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the library, which is located at 1001 E. Ash St. The last day for one-stop early voting is Nov. 4 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the library.

In the first two days of one-stop early voting, Wayne County Board of Elections Director Gary Sims said 622 voters cast ballots. Typically, one-stop early voting starts out slow but progresses as Election Day nears, he added.

The advantage to one-stop early voting is that it is spread over two and a half weeks, which allows voters to go at their convenience and not have to bother with the long lines on Election Day, Sims said.

All 22 ballot styles for this election are available at the library during one-stop early voting to ensure each voter receives the correct ballot.

On November's ballots, Democrat Pam Minshew and Republican Randy Winders are vying for the Wayne County Clerk of Court position. Clerk of Court Marshall Minchew will retire after his term ends.

Also, Sheriff Carey Winders will seek another term as he battles challenger Ken Edwards.

Some Wayne County voters can also choose who will represent District 3 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican incumbent Rep. Walter Jones will face challenger Democrat Craig Weber.

Two North Carolina House of Representatives seats will also be on the ballot, with Democrat Van Braxton and Republican Willie Ray Starling vying for the District 10 seat and Democrat Ronnie Griffin challenging Rep. Louis Pate for his District 11 seat.

The state Senate also has two races on the ballot this year. Republican Todd Siebels is campaigning for Democrat Sen. John Kerr's District 5 seat. Sen. Fred Smith, R-District 12, is seeking another term, battling challenger Democrat Sherry Altman.

One Wayne County Board of Education seat will also be decided by the voters over the next few weeks. Incumbent Lehman Smith will try to retain his District 1 seat against challenger Dave Thomas.

If a voter has moved more than 30 days before the election or has not updated his or her address with the Board of Elections office, Sims said that person should vote early.

Sample ballots, election information and a voter search engine which allows voters to find out their voting precinct are available on the Wayne County Board of Election's Web site at www.waynegov.com/boe. For any other information, call the Wayne County Board of Elections at 731-1411.