In a little more than a month, voters in North Carolina will head to the polls for the first time to cast their ballots for the 2016 primary election. The primary election set for Tuesday, March 15, will feature the offices of U.S. President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives District 11, N.C. Governor, N.C. Lieutenant Governor, N.C. Attorney General, N.C. Commissioners of Agriculture, Insurance, and Labor, N.C. Secretary of State, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction, N.C. Treasurer, N.C. House of Representatives District 120, Macon County Commissioners District 2 and 3 and a Bond Referendum.
Locally, both vacant Macon County Board of Commissioners seats will be a part of the March primary to determine who will appear on the ballot in November. In District II, Republicans Karl Gillespie and Ron Haven will appear on the ballot in March. In District III, Republicans Greg Boyer, Manny Carrion, and Paul Higdon will be on the ballot to determine who will face the Democratic challenger in November.
Macon County Commissioner Kevin Corbin filed for state office, and will appear on the March primary ballot for North Carolina House District 120 against Elliot Southwort.
Leading up to the election, The Macon County News will launch a candidate profile series and highlight each of the local offices appearing on the primary ballot.
The request period for absentee ballots opened on Monday and will run until March 8. Requests for an absentee ballot must be made on a State Board of Elections Absentee Request Form available at the County Board of Elections office, at all one-stop early voting sites, at maconnc.org or www.ncsbe.gov, and received in the Macon County Board of Elections office or any one-stop early voting site by 5 p.m. on March 8. Completed absentee ballots must be returned by the voter, relative or legal guardian to the Macon County Board of Elections by 5 p.m. on March 15, or postmarked on or before Election Day and received no later than Friday, March 18.
All residents of Macon County who are registered to vote with the Macon County Board of Elections may vote in this election. Voters who are previously registered need not re-register for this election. Unaffiliated voters are allowed to vote in the primary and will be given a choice of ballot at the polling places. Those residents of Macon County who are not registered to vote must register on or before Friday, Feb. 19, by 5 p.m. in order to be eligible to vote on Election Day. Those voters who are not registered by Feb. 19, may register and vote during one stop early voting only, and will be required to provide documentation of their identity and residence. Voters who wish to change their party affiliation or who have changed their name or address must notify the Board of Elections in writing by Feb. 19. Voters who fail to notify the Board of Elections of a change to their name or address must update their information when presenting to vote, and may be required to vote a provisional ballot.
Photo ID Information
Most voters will be asked to present acceptable photo identification when presenting to vote in person at the polls, with exceptions for voters who are unable to obtain acceptable photo identification, have a religious objection to being photographed, or are victims of a natural disaster. The acceptable forms of photo identification are a N.C. Driver’s License or DMV-issued Identification Card (expired up to four years), U.S. Passport or Passport Card (unexpired), Military ID Card or Veterans Affairs ID Card (unexpired, if there is an expiration date), and certain Tribal Enrollment Cards. Voters who are unable to obtain one of these forms of identification may still vote if their inability is due to reasonable impediment such as a lost or stolen ID, lack of transportation, illness or disability, a lack of proper documents, work schedule, and others. These voters may vote a provisional ballot after completing a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and providing an alternate form of identification or the last four digits of their social security number and their date of birth.
Acceptable alternate forms of identification for voters who complete a Reasonable Impediment Declaration include their voter registration card or a current utility bill, paycheck, government check, bank statement, or other government document bearing the voter’s name and current address. Alternative voting options are available for voters who do not present acceptable photo identification for a reason other than a reasonable impediment to obtaining one. Voters who use curbside voting may also present one of the alternative forms of identification described above. No photo ID is required to vote an absentee ballot by mail. Free Identification Cards for registered voters are available from the NC DMV. For assistance with obtaining acceptable photo identification for voting or for more information on exceptions and alternative voting options, contact the N.C. State Board of Elections voter outreach team toll-free at (866)522-4723 or visit www.VoterID.nc.gov.
For questions regarding registration, location of polling places, absentee ballots, early voting at One-Stop locations or other election matters, call the Macon County Board of Elections Office at (828)349-2034 Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.