Voting precincts merge

Published 6:13 pm Friday, January 17, 2020

When primary election day arrives on March 3, some voters in Northampton County will have a different place to cast their ballot than before. The county Board of Elections recently received official approval from the state to consolidate five precincts into already existing ones.

The Milwaukee and Pendleton precincts will be merged with Conway. Voters in this new, larger precinct will now cast their ballots at the Ruritan Women’s Club building located at 220 Hundley Circle, Conway.

The Garysburg and Pleasant Hill precincts will also be merged together. The polling site for this precinct will continue to use the Garysburg Town Hall located at 504 Old Hwy Road, Garysburg.

Voters in the Rehoboth precinct will now join the Jackson precinct, and will vote at the J.W. Faison Administration Building located at 9495 NC Hwy 305, Jackson.

In the eastern part of the county, the Woodland precinct will absorb the Potecasi precinct. All voters in this merged precinct will continue to use the Woodland Community Center located at 418 W. Main Street, Woodland.

Northampton Elections Director Spinosa Clements said the main factors that went into the merger decision were low voter registration numbers, low turnout, and monetary savings.

“Out of the five they closed to merge into another precinct, Pleasant Hill was the largest, and their registration is 340,” she explained. “Pendleton only has 211 registered voters, and even if half of them turn out, that’s only 105 people.”

Clements estimated the county would save roughly $1,000 per polling site with the changes because each site is staffed with a minimum of three people on election day.

“There will be a sign posted at all of the precincts we’re no longer using,” she continued, noting that voters in the affected precincts will receive a voter notification card by mail about the changes as well.

She encouraged anyone with questions to contact the Board of Elections office at 252-534-5681.

The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation is by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 7. Voters are able to request absentee ballots until Tuesday, February 25.

Early voting will begin on Thursday, February 13 and last through Saturday, February 29. As in previous years, Clements said there will be three early voting sites located at the J.W. Faison Administration Building in Jackson, the Cool Spring Community Center in Gaston, and the Roanoke Center in Rich Square. She also said they would be testing new voting tabulators during the early voting period, but precincts on election day will all use the same equipment as they have done in the past.

Voter ID is not currently required to vote in the primary election.