Early voting surpasses 2,600

Ellerbe, Hamlet early voting sites open Wednesday

By Kevin Spradlin

ROCKINGHAM — Another day, another milestone for early voting in Richmond County.

On Tuesday, 532 people cast their ballots, bringing the four-day total to 2,689 (or 8.8 percent of the county’s 30,530 registered voters). Though the turnout has lessened each of the four days — 874, 720, 561 and 532, respectively — the turnout in the first four days surpasses, and nearly doubles, the May primary early voting turnout of 1,649 votes cast.

IMG_6719Early voting continues Wednesday and, for the first time in this general election, will be available at more than one location. Beginning Wednesday, both the Ellerbe and Hamlet locations also will be available to voters.

Early voting continues Monday at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Office and then, beginning Oct. 29, in Ellerbe and Hamlet. The remaining schedule:

* At the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Office, 123 Caroline St., Rockingham, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the on the following days of early voting: Oct. 29, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31.

* At Cole Auditorium in Hamlet and at Ellerbe Town Hall, 108 W. Page St., Ellerbe, early voting will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 and from 9 a.m .to 1 p.m. Nov. 1.

Polls are open on Tuesday, Nov. 4 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

It seems that local contests are drawing widespread interest and motivating voters to head to the polls. Among the races:

County Commissioner

Incumbents Ben Moss, a Republican, and Democrats Thad Ussery and Don Bryant face challenges from Democrats Herbie Long and Peggy Covington as well as Republican Donnie Richardson. The six candidates are vying for four available seats on the seven-member board.


Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr., a Democrat, faces a challenge from Republican Bo Frye. The two men combined have more than seven decades of law enforcement experience. Clemmons’ time has been lock, while Frye retired from the Charlotte Police Department.

State Senate – District 25

Former Rockingham Mayor and now State Sen. Gene McLaurin, a Democrat, faces a challenge from Republican Tom McInnis, currently a member of the Richmond County Board of Education. P.H. Dawkins, of Hamlet, also is in the mix as a Libertarian Party candidate.

U.S. House of Representatives – District 8

Incumbent Richard Hudson, a Republican, faces a challenge from Hamlet native and Dobbins Heights Mayor Antonio Blue, a Democrat.


Though running unopposed, it’s important for voters to cast their ballots in support of the only candidate who threw his or her hat into the ring. For the state House of Representatives, Garland Pierce, a Democrat, is the sole candidate for District 48. Rep. Ken Goodman, a Democrat, also is running unopposed to retain his District 66 seat.

Reece Saunders, a Democrat, is running unopposed for Richmond County District Attorney in District 16C and Judge Scott Brewer is running by himself for re-election to the North Carolina District Judge in District 16A. In addition, Tommy Deense is the sole candidate for Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor.

And Clerk of Superior Court Vickie Daniel, a Democrat, defeated Peggy Roach in the May primary and also is running unopposed in the November election.



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