Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Early voting opens for secondary primary’s GOP state races

A secondary primary election will take place May 14 for runoff GOP state races. (Port City Daily/File)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — The Tar Heel State is one of almost a dozen nationwide that requires a candidate to outpace another by 30% of votes cast in a primary election to move forward.

No one from two Republican Party state races scored that measure on Super Tuesday, which brought out 1.8 million voters statewide, down from the 2.1 million that turned out in 2020’s presidential primary election year. Second-place contenders of the primaries can request a runoff when the 30% threshold isn’t met.

Thus GOP offices for NC lieutenant governor and state auditor will go head-to-head again to see who makes it onto the Election Day ballot.

It’s called a Secondary Primary Election Day, slated to take place May 14. Voters of the GOP will be able to cast a ballot again during early voting (see the hours in the tri-county region below) or on the second Tuesday in May. 

During March 5’s primary, 10 Republican candidates were vying for the second highest office in the state — lieutenant governor. Hal Weatherman (20% of the vote) and Jim O’Neil (16%) will be listed on the secondary primary ballot.

For state auditor — the office overseeing appropriate use of government funds — Jack Clark will face off against Dave Boliek. Clark received 23.2% versus Boliek’s 22.1% of the vote.

No other offices will appear on tri-county voters’ ballots; though there are other runoffs in areas of North Carolina, including Republican U.S. House District 13 (Johnson, Wake, Wayne counties) and Republican South Point Township District for Gaston County Board of Commissioners.

Who can vote?

Registered Republicans or unaffiliated voters that cast a Republican primary ballot can vote in the second primary; registered voters who did not participate in March’s primary can also vote. 

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, an overall push for new voter registration will not take place during this time; thus same-day registration will not happen before secondary primary election day. 

However, all people who have become eligible to vote since the primary — newly minted U.S. citizens, for instance — may register to participate in the GOP’s secondary primary. 

According to the state board, voters who are 17 but will turn 18 by the November 5, 2024 general election can register and participate in the secondary primary as well. 

Other voters registered Democratic, Green, Libertarian or No Labels parties cannot cast a ballot — neither can unaffiliated voters who elected to go with another party during March’s primary election. 

North Carolina voters will be asked to show photo ID when they check in; learn more about the voter ID requirement here.

To check voter eligibility, see a sample ballot or request an absentee ballot, click here. A polling place search — to cast ballots on Secondary Primary Election Day — can be accessed here.

Below are dates of interest to keep in mind in the next month:

  • March 30, 2024: County boards of elections begin mailing absentee ballots to eligible voters who submitted an absentee ballot request form.
  • April 25, 2024: In-person early voting begins.
  • May 7, 2024: Absentee ballot request deadline (5 p.m.).*
  • May 11, 2024: In-person early voting ends (3 p.m.).
  • May 14, 2024: Seconday Primary Election Day
  • May 14, 2024: Absentee ballot return deadline (7:30 p.m.).*
  • May 24, 2024: County canvass election results

Hours for early voting in tri-county region

New Hanover County

Northeast Regional Library, David E. Painter Room
1241 Military Cutoff Road

  • April 25 – 26, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • April 29 – May 3, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • May 6 – 10, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • May 11, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Brunswick County

Brunswick County Board of Elections
75 Stamp Act Drive NE, Building H, Bolivia

  • April 25 – 26, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • April 29 – May 3, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • May 6 – 10, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • May 11, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Pender County

Pender County Cooperative Extension Auditorium
801 S. Walker St., Burgaw

  • April 25 – 26, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • April 29 – May 3, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • May 6 – 10, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • May 11, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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