Voting already underway

First Posted: 9/23/2009

DOBSON Mount Airy residents already can cast ballots for the Oct. 6 mayors primary, but few people seem to realize that, based on totals so far.
An early voting option is available at the Surry County Board of Elections in Dobson, allowing city residents to make choices for mayor ahead of the primary day itself. Those who havent registered also can complete that process at the same time.
However, the response to the special service has been very slow since it began last Thursday, said Susan Jarrell, Board of Elections director. As of Tuesday, only 11 people had taken advantage of early voting, including no votes at all being cast on Monday.
Meanwhile, some Dobson voters also have come to the Board of Elections office attempting to cast ballots in that towns 2009 election, which includes contested races for both the mayor and commissioner seats. Jarrell said the present early voting process is open only to Mount Airy residents, however.
The elections director said the low turnout among Mount Airy voters possibly reflects the fact that a satellite one-stop voting site will open next week in the city. It could be that people who want to vote early simply are waiting for the service to begin at that location and avoid a trip to the county seat, Jarrell said.
Hours for the one-stop voting in Dobson are 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday and Oct. 3 from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The county Board of Elections office is on the ground floor of the new courthouse.

Mount Airy Site
Early voting in the city begins next Wednesday at the Mount Airy Public Library on Rockford Street, and will continue through Oct. 3, the Saturday before the primary.
The schedule there is coinciding with the library hours, which will be 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. next Wednesday and Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 2; and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 3. The site can accommodate persons with disabilities.
One-stop voting allows someone planning to be out of town on Election Day or wishing to avoid long lines the option of casting ballots beforehand.
Those not registered who failed to do so by a Sept. 11 deadline also can register as well as vote at a one-stop site, but will not be able to vote on the primary day itself.
The Board of Elections is required to host that service, but the providing of one-stop voting in Mount Airy represents an extra accommodation funded by the city government at a cost of about $3,400, Jarrell has said.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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