40 percent of registered voters participated in Early Voting
When polls open at 6:30 a.m. today in the county’s 17 voting precincts, Rutherford Countians are electing a President, Congress, Governor of North Carolina, Council of States, several judgeships; Rutherford County Commissioners, Rutherford County Board of Education members, Register of Deeds and Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.
More than 40 percent of the registered voters cast ballots during Early Voting for a total 16,928 voters, just under the 2008 Early Voting totals of over 17,000, Debbie Bedford reported. There are still several absentee votes that will come in the mail today, which could take the number closer to 17,000.
Early Voting weather was more conducive for standing in line than today’s prediction.
“I just hate it’s going to be cold and rainy,” Bedford said of the predictions.
As people line up to vote today, Bedford expects less than 30 percent of the county’s registered voters will actually go to the polls today, since so many have already voted.
“More than half of those (registered) who actually vote, have voted,” Bedford said.
She predicts 63 percent of the county’s registered voters will cast ballots.
In 2008, 67.82 percent of Rutherford County’s registered voters cast ballots.
“It’s usually a trend when an incumbent president is seeking re-election, turn out is less,” Bedford said.
She said there were fewer Early Voters in 2012,than in 2008,
Some voter-hopefuls inquired at the Board of Elections office Monday if they could vote on Tuesday.
Anyone going to the polls today, and have not registered, can only vote a Provisional Ballot. Provisional ballots will not be counted until the Canvass on Nov. 16.
Bedford said 7,426 Democrats have voted and 5,990 Republicans have voted, but that is not an indication of the peoples’ choices.
In 2008, Rutherford County voted for John McCain for President, although fewer Republicans than Democrats votes.
“You can’t tell by the way they are registered, how they will vote,” she said.
Rutherford County native, Democrat Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton is continuing his run for Governor, running against Republican Pat McCrory.
School board members Jackie Hampton, Ritchie Garland and John Mark Bennett are running unopposed but in District 1, incumbent Barry Gold is being opposed by Richard Louis Johnson of Rutherfordton and Darwin D. Little of Spindale.
In the race for County Commissioner, two new political newcomers are seeking the County Commissioner District 2 seat. Pruett Walden, Democrat of Forest City, and Republican Greg Lovelace of Bostic, are seeking the seat held by incumbent Susan Crowe, who chose not to seek re-election.
NC Representative Republican Mike Hager is seeking re-election to the State House and seeking to unseat him is Demcorat Marc Brown, both of Rutherfordton.
Vying for a seat in the NC Senate are Democrat Phi Feagen and Republican Ralph Hise, who’ll serve a six county area. The county’s former State Senator Wes Westmoreland is representing Cleveland County.
Register of Deeds incumbent Faye H. Huskey, Democrat is running unopposed.
Ronald Hawkins is running for the Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.
Seeking a seat on the Superior Court bench are sitting District Court Judge Tommy Davis of Forest City and former District Court Judge Deborah Burgin also of Forest City. They are also non-partisan.