10/27/06 — More than 2,000 have cast ballots

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More than 2,000 have cast ballots

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 27, 2006 1:56 PM

More than 2,000 Wayne County residents have already cast ballots for November's general election, with about a week left before Election Day, officials said.

One-stop early voting began Oct. 19 at the Wayne County Public Library and will continue each weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Nov. 3. The polls at the library, which is located at 1001 E. Ash St., will also be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 4.

Wayne County Board of Elections Director Gary Sims said 2,088 voters have cast ballots in the first week of one-stop early voting. As of Oct. 9, there were 63,692 registered voters in the county. About half, or 32,395 voters, are registered Democrat and 21,437 are registered Republican. The remaining 9,860 voters are unaffiliated. All registered voters are eligible to vote during one-stop early voting or on Election Day.

The advantage of one-stop early voting is that it is spread out 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 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 terms ends.

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 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 Sherry Altman.

One Wayne County Board of Education seat will also be decided by the voters over the next two 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 that 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.