McDonald casts ballot ‘to make my vote count’

Early voter turnout reaches 17.5 percent
Polls open Tuesday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

By Kevin Spradlin

ROCKINGHAM — It was about 1:03 p.m. when Hazel Harrington walked out of the meeting room at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Office.

The Rockingham resident was the last of 279 people to cast their ballot at the temporary early voting location between 9 a.m and 1 p.m. Saturday. Harrington said she always votes, but in this election, she feels the high early voter turnout is “because people want change.”

election2014logoShe said friends and neighbors are insistent that Medicaid coverage be expanded, the elderly’s social security be protected and access to affordable health care be possible. In a general election that features highly contested races for state Senate District 25, county sheriff and county commissioner, there wasn’t one that drew Harrington out to the poll despite the 45-degree temperatures and scattered rain showers.

“All of the above,” Harrington said as her reason to show up and vote.

Jalen McDonald, 19, of Rockingham, didn’t have a particular issue that drew him out. But he was there, he said, “to make my vote count.”

McDonald and Harrington, along with 5,352 other early voters did exactly that since early voting began Oct. 23.

Rockingham’s precinct attracted 4,410 early voters, including 277 on Saturday; the Cole Auditorium in Hamlet attracted 134 (678 total) and Ellerbe Town Hall had 266 voters, including 53 on Saturday, cast their ballots.

The turnout totaled 17.53 percent — nearing the 18.24 percent turnout in all of the May primary.

While county elections workers worked throughout the weekend to ready for Tuesday’s general election, registered voters could think of other things — such as the third annual Charity and Scholarship Event in Hamlet Saturday night, the final show of “Love Letters” at Richmond Community Theatre or the paranormal investigation at the Ellerbe Springs Inn — all Saturday night.

Until Tuesday, that is. That’s when polls reopen, beginning at 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the following locations. Due to new voter laws, voters can not register the day they vote — that deadline was Oct. 10 — and there is no out-of-precinct voting.

Click here for a list of precincts.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, News

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