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Political notebook: Board of Elections approves early voting plan for 2020 primary

At last week’s Rowan County Board of Elections meeting, members approved an early voting plan for the 2020 primary.

The three early voting sites will be the Rowan County Board of Elections, at 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W. in Salisbury, Rockwell American Legion Building, 8580 U.S. 52 in Rockwell, and South Rowan Public Library, 920 Kimball Road in China Grove.

Early voting begins Feb. 13. It continues to Feb. 29. Voters can cast a ballot and register to vote Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. There will also be two Saturdays of early voting — Feb. 22 and Feb. 29 — at the three locations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The state requires at least one Saturday of early voting.

Primary Election Day will be March 3. The primary will determine which candidate will represent political parties in races across the ballot, including president, governor, and U.S. Senate, in the general election on Nov. 3.

On Election Day, voters must go to their assigned polling place.

A person must vote the ballot of the party to which they are registered. Unaffiliated voters can choose any party’s ballot they want. 

Incumbents file in the first week

U.S. Rep. Ted Budd last week was one of many incumbents to file for re-election.

Budd, who represents the 13th District, was first elected in 2016. Because of court-ordered redistricting, all of Rowan County will be in District 13. District 8, represented by Rep. Richard Hudson, will drop out of the county.

No challengers have filed, either Republican or Democrat, against Budd.

State Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, as well as N.C. Reps. Harry Warren, R-76, Julia Howard, R-77, and Wayne Sasser, R-67, filed as well. No challengers have filed in the first week against the state legislators.

County commissioners Craig Pierce and Mike Caskey are seeking another term, too. They are the only ones to file for the county commissioners race so far.

Kevin Clark and Anita Parker have filed for the Kannapolis City Schools Board of Election Area I seat. Todd Adams, who is currently on the board, filed for Kannapolis City Schools Board of Election Area II.

Filing continues until Dec. 20.

To file, candidates should go to the Rowan County Board of Elections office, at 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W. D10.

Rep. Budd helped secure grant for Salisbury Transit

U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-13, says he helped secure a Federal Transit Administration grant for Salisbury Transit to buy buses and equipment.

The $480,000 grant, announced in November, will replace and improve the city’s outdated buses.

“I’m thrilled that the FTA awarded these funds to Salisbury,” Budd said. “This grant will go a long way to improve public safety and allow the city to modernize its fleet of vehicles. I’m committed to making it easier for folks to travel around our community for work or to spend time with their friends and families, and that’s what this grant will help accomplish.” 

The total project cost will be $600,000. The city provided a local match of $120,000.

Budd wrote to Mark Bathrick, the FTA program director, on June 12 in support of the City of Salisbury’s Buses and Bus Facilities Program grant application, stating “the funding will allow Salisbury transit to purchase four replacement vehicles that exceeded their useful service life.”

The city plans to purchase four low-floor, light-duty buses to replace four heavy-duty buses. Equipment that includes fare boxes, destination signs, bike racks, camera systems and voice announcement systems will also be replaced.

Last week for open enrollment for federal health care marketplace

Gov. Roy Cooper is reminding North Carolinians who need health insurance or need to re-enroll or change plans for 2020 coverage to sign up before Sunday’s deadline.

“Open enrollment is the chance to see what health insurance choices you have and find out which plan is best for you and your family,” Cooper said. “I encourage all North Carolinians to take time during this busy holiday season to sign up or see what you are eligible for before the Dec. 15 deadline.”

The federal marketplace helps people find health coverage that meets their needs and fits their budget. At HealthCare.gov, North Carolinians can compare plans based on price, benefits and other features. Importantly, coverage cannot be denied because of pre-existing or chronic conditions like cancer or diabetes. 

“Health insurance provides access to high-quality medical care that improves and protects people’s lives,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen. “I encourage people without health insurance to go to the federal Marketplace by Dec.15 to see if there is a plan that is a good fit for them and their families.” 

Health care through the federal Marketplace lets North Carolinians go to a doctor for regular check-ups and sick visits. Every health plan in the federal Marketplace offers essential health benefits, including doctor visits, preventive care, hospitalization, prescriptions and more.

Those who had coverage for 2019 through HealthCare.gov, should log in to their marketplace account to review their options for 2020. 

Factsheets on the Marketplace are available in English and Spanish. North Carolinians seeking free, in-person assistance with enrollment can also visit the NC Navigator Consortium to find a local application assister or call the toll-free NC Navigator Helpline at 1-855-733-3711.

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