Official sets record straight over voting procedure

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 25, 2006

JACKSON – There will be a primary for Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters on May 2.

Northampton County Director of Elections Tonya B. Pitts said Tuesday she had received numerous calls requesting information about the primary schedule. Many of those callers have asked when the Republican primary is and several have believed only Democrats can vote on May 2.

&uot;Everyone’s primary is on the same day,&uot; she said. &uot;Most people don’t realize there are multiple ballot styles for primary elections.&uot;

Despite the fact there are few contested races within each party, there will be ballots for Democrats, Republicans and one for non-partisan races.

Those voters who are registered unaffiliated will have a choice as to whether to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary for the May 2 election, Pitts said.

&uot;Those voters are what I call ‘wild cards,’&uot; Pitts said. &uot;By law an unaffiliated voter decides which ballot they want to vote in the primary.&uot;

Unaffiliated voters can choose to vote the Democratic or Republican ballots or they can choose to simply vote on the non-partisan elections, including the Northampton County Board of Education, Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and North Carolina Court of Appeals judgeships.

The only contested races on the Democratic ballot will be that for the nomination to serve as Representative in NC House District 27, Sheriff of Northampton County and Judicial District 6B Attorney.

District 27 incumbent Michael H. Wray will face the challenge of Northampton County Democrat Howard Ervin as well as that of Vance County Democrat Anthony Butler.

In the Judicial District 6B Attorney’s race, incumbent Valerie Mitchell-Asbell is being challenged by Murfreesboro attorney Don Carter.

Also on the ballot will be incumbent Sheriff Wardie Vincent facing former Chief Deputy Sheldon Skinner for the Democratic nomination for sheriff.

During this year’s May primary, there will be no Republican ballot because there are no contested races within the Republican Party.

All Republican candidates advance straight to the November general election.

Republicans will vote the non-partisan ballot for this election.

Those who have more questions about the primary can call Pitts at 534-5681.