Three early voting sites open Thursday in Rowan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In-person, early voting for party primaries starts at 8 a.m. Thursday across North Carolina.

Included in the 2016 primaries are races for president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, governor, State House, county commissioner, Kannapolis Board of Education and a number of other statewide races.

Rowan County will have three early voting sites during the early voting period, which ends March 12. The sites include: the Rowan Public Library Headquarters at 201 West Fisher St. in Salisbury, Rockwell American Legion Building at 8580 U.S. 52, and Rowan Public Library South Branch at 920 Kimball Road in China Grove. The sites will have identical schedules on weekdays — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Saturday, March 5, all three sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Only the Rowan Public Library Headquarters will host early voting on March 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Voters in Rowan County aren’t restricted to a specific location during in-person, early voting. However, voters who are registered as unafiliated can only select one party primary — Republican, Democratic or Libertarian — to participate in.

Election day for party primary races will be March 15.

Ballots for the March 15 primary will include congressional races under a map that’s been declared racially gerrymandered. However, elections officials are encouraging voters to fully complete ballots. A newly drawn map must be approved before it can be used. If approved, the new map would significantly alter the congressional districts that extend into Rowan County.

Certain scenarios could lead to the congressional map ruled unconstitutional still being used. In that case, votes cast in congressional races for the party primaries would count. If election officials are required to use the new map, votes cast in congressional races on the current ballot won’t count or be publicly released.

During the 2016 primary election, photo identification is required for all in-person voting. Mail-in absentee ballots, however, will not require voters to present identification.

Acceptable photo IDs include a North Carolina drivers license, N.C. identification card, U.S. passport, military identification card, veterans identification card and certain tribal cards. A North Carolina driver’s license or identification card is acceptable if it’s been expired for less than four years. Anyone who shows up without a valid form of identification can cast a provisional ballot.

Same-day registration will only be allowed during the in-person, early voting period. A valid photo ID and proof of residence is required for same-day registration.

Races on Rowan’s March party primary ballots include:

• U.S. President

A total of 12 Republicans will appear on the Republican primary ballot. Because of qualifying deadlines, a number of candidates who have dropped out of the race will appear on primary ballots.

Republican candidates who are still in the presidential race include: businessman Donald Trump; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Democratic candidates who haven’t dropped out of the race include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

A total of 10 libertarian candidates will appear on the presidential ballot.

• U.S. Senate

Four republicans are running for one of North Carolina’s two senate seats. Four democrats are also running for the seat.

Republican candidates include: Larry Holmquist, Paul Wright, Greg Brannon and incumbent Sen. Richard Burr.

Democratic candidates include: Ernest Reeves, Chris Rey, Deborah Ross and Kevin Griffin.

• U.S. House of Representatives

In the 5th Congressional District race, there’s only a Republican primary. Pattie Curran will face incumbent Rep. Virginia Foxx.

In the 12th Congressional District race, there’s a Republican and Democratic primary. Republican candidates include Leon Threatt and Ryan Duffie. Democratic candidates include Gardenia Henley, Juan Antonio Marin Jr. and incumbent Rep. Alma Adams.

• Governor

Three Republicans and two Democrats are running in the governor’s party primaries. Republican candidates include incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory, Charles Kenneth Moss and C. Robert Brawley. Democratic candidates include Ken Spaulding and Roy Cooper.

• N.C. House District 77

In the race, Andrew Poston, a Republican, will face incumbent Rep. Harry Warren, R-77. There’s no general election competition in the race

• Rowan County commissioner

Three Republicans will face off in the March primaries. Incumbents Mike Caskey and Craig Pierce will face challenger Johnny Love.

Other races that will appear on Republican Party primary ballots in Rowan include: attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of insurance, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction. Only Kannapolis residents will be able to vote in the city’s board of education races.

Other races that will appear on Democratic Party primary ballots include: attorney general, commissioner of labor, superintendent of public instruction and state treasurer. Only Kannapolis residents will be able to vote in the city’s board of education races.

For more information about the party primary elections, contact the Rowan County Board of Elections at 704-216-8140.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.