DOBSON — Friday is the voter-registration deadline for a June 7 primary election in Surry County.
It will include Republican and Democratic candidates for the Fifth District congressional seat now held by Rep. Virginia Foxx, and a race for state Supreme Court associate justice.
Surry County voters might recall having already voted in a Sixth District primary on March. But state officials scheduled a new congressional primary for June 7 after a panel of federal judges threw out two districts as racial gerrymandering and ordered district lines to be redrawn.
This resulted in Surry being returned to the Fifth District it was part of for many years, and the opportunity to choose Republican and Democratic candidates for its congressional seat.
Foxx, a six-term incumbent from Banner Elk, is seeking re-election against challenger Pattie Curran of Kernersville in the GOP primary.
The Fifth District Democratic primary ballot includes Jim Roberts of Pilot Mountain and two candidates from Boone, Josh Brannon and Charlie Wallin.
Susan Jarrell, the director of the Surry County Board of Elections, is urging persons who aren’t registered to vote to do so by the 5 p.m. deadline on Friday.
This is encouraged even with one-stop early voting — which allows citizens to register during the early voting period along with casting ballots — continuing to be available in North Carolina, “according to the latest court ruling,” she said.
“It is certainly simpler for the voter,” Jarrell said of the incentive to register this week, instead of waiting until early voting begins in Dobson in late May.
“They can simply mail that (registration) form in or come by our office and fill it out,” the elections director said. The Surry Board of Elections is on the lower level of the new county courthouse in Dobson.
Forms must be postmarked or delivered in person by 5 p.m. on Friday. They may be sent by fax or email attachment, but the original must be received in the office no later than 5 p.m. on May 18.
“When you do it at one-stop,” Jarrell added of registration, “it will slow down the process for you and other voters.”
Those who wait until the one-stop early voting period to register also will be required to show proof of their current address. For someone who has just moved to the area, that might be difficult, Jarrell added.
“We have not seen a lot of interest shown for this election,” she said of the upcoming primary, “but this is still an important election.”
The early voting service will available from May 26 to June 4 at the Dobson site only, compared to the previous primary in which early voting was held in other Surry municipalities.
“Historically, turnout for this type of election is slow,” Jarrell said of the upcoming primary. “So financially, it made sense to have one location.”
May 31 is the last day for citizens to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to them.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.