This year’s primary is set to get people out to the polls in Surry County, if early voting is any indication.
Susan Jarrell, director of elections in the county, said Monday that 274 people have gone to the polls since early voting opened on April 19. This year’s election is set for May 8 for both the presidential primary and state and local offices.
“The turnout has been better than normal this year,” she said. “This is a really good number for this time of the year.”
Jarrell said that any registered voter in the county can vote during early voting by visiting the polls adjacent to the election office on the ground floor of the new courthouse in Dobson.
“They just need to come out and do it,” she said when asked whether any specific information was needed to vote early.
Jarrell said a satellite voting site will open on April 30 in the Human Services Building located at 1218 State Street in Mount Airy. The site will run from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. The satellite site will also be open on Saturday, May 5, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Early voting ends at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.
The election director said she believes that the constitutional amendment on the ballot this year is helping get people out to vote.
“It’s drawing a lot of interest, judging by the comments we’ve received,” she said.
The amendment would “provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in the State.”
In addition to the amendment, voters in the Republican primary have the opportunity to nominate a preference for the party’s presidential candidate. The ballot allows voters to choose between Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum, whose name remains on the ballot even though he has suspended his campaign.
They can also vote for a representative to the U.S. House of Representatives and nominate their choice to run for governor, lieutenant governor and North Carolina Secretary of State.
Bill Flynn, Billy Yow and Howard Coble are vying for the nomination to the House of Representatives in District 6.
Voters can choose between Jim Harney, Scott A. Jones, Jim Mahan, Pat McCrory, Charles Kenneth Moss and Paul Wright for the Republican nomination for governor.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, Republicans can choose between Dale Folwell, Dan Forest, Tony Gurley, Grey Mills and Arthur Jason Rich when they vote in the primary.
Nominations for commissioner of insurance, commissioner of agriculture, state treasurer, superintendent of public instruction and state auditor are also on the ballot for the May 8 election.
Locally, Republican voters can choose between Paul Johnson and Michael Hewett for the East District seat on the Board of County Commissioners.
Non-partisan races on the ballot this year include two seats on the Board of Education.
In District 1, incumbent Michelle Hunter is being challenged by Brian K. Moser. Clark Goings is running for the District 5 seat unopposed.
Voters can also choose between six Libertarian candidates on the presidential ticket this year. Roger Gary, R.J. Harris, Gary Johnson, Carl Person, Bill Still and Lee Wrights are all vying for the nomination.
Incumbent President Barack Obama is the only choice on the Democratic ticket for voters when they go to the polls this year, signifying the support of the party behind the incumbent.
In addition to the presidential vote, Democrats can choose between Walter H. Dalton, Gary M. Dunn, Bob Etheridge, Bill Faison, Gardenia M. Henley and Bruce Blackson for the party’s selection as the gubernatorial candidate.
Democrats on the ticket for the lieutenant governor’s seat are Eric L. Mansfield and Linda D. Coleman.
Voters can choose between Walter Smith and Scott Bryant for the Democratic nomination for commissioner of agriculture.
Marlowe Foster, Ty Richardson and John C. Brooks are vying for the Democratic nomination for commissioner of labor, and Ron Elmer and Janet Cowell are running for the state treasurer’s seat.
Locally, Democratic voters can choose between David H. Diamont and Eddie Brown for the East District seat on the county Board of Commissioners.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.