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Friday, May 17, 2024

Voter Guide 2022: Everything to know ahead of Election Day

Election Day is Nov. 8, open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Port City Daily/File)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Midterm election day is here.

And one of the most hotly contested races in North Carolina is for the U.S. Senate seat between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd. As of Monday, pollster Five Thirty Eight has Budd winning more than 80 of the Tar Heel State’s 100 counties.

READ MORE: The NC-7 Senate race is breaking campaign spending records with state party money

ALSO: Voter turnout, short lines and stealing signs: 27K ballots cast in first week of early voting

North Carolina has turned red plenty in its voting history. Democratic candidates have won only one Senate race in the last two decades and four in the last 50 years. Should a Democrat win in 2022, it could mean a chance to hold out the Senate majority.

At the state level, if Republicans win two seats in the Senate and three in the House, it would create a supermajority that could override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto power.

Supreme court and court of appeals, local judges and prosecutors are also on the ballot, while local races include county offices, such as sheriff, commissioners, and school boards.

Over the last two months, Port City Daily has collected candidate questionnaires to find out where they stand on issues. All who participated can be accessed below under each county; the paywall has been dropped so voters can use the information ahead of casting a ballot.

The polls are open on Election Day, Nov. 8, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It’s possible polls could stay open a bit later under N.C.G.S. § 163-166.01; if that happens, ballots cast beyond 7:30 p.m. will count as provisional votes, per state law. 

There is no requirement to show an I.D. to vote. Also, it’s the first year unincarcerated felons can vote in the state.

Readers can check their polling location here and sample ballots can be accessed here. Anyone in need of accessing transportation to the polls can utilize Wave Transit, offering free rides Tuesday; click here.

Numbers initially reported following the election are not certified until the canvass takes place. County and local boards will be official Nov. 18, with state races finalized Nov. 29.

Catch up on previous Port City Daily election coverage here.


U.S. Senate North Carolina

  • Democrat Cheri Beasley
  • Republican Ted Budd
  • Green Party Matthew Hoh
  • Libertarian Shannon Bray

U.S. House District 7

New Hanover County

After New Hanover County wrapped its final day of early voting on Saturday, it had recorded 51,850 ballots, just shy of the 53,266 cast during the last midterm election in 2018. Historically tens of thousands of ballots are submitted on Election Day; the final total in 2018 was 89,403.

The number of registered Republicans and Democrats voting have traded places over the course of the early voting period in NHC. All told, the Republicans, 17,290, edged out the Democrats, 17,281, by nine votes. Unaffiliated voters made up almost a third of early votes with 17,076.

Small fringe parties came in with a very small number of ballots: 197 for the Libertarian Party and nine for the Green Party.

Female early voting turnout was about 20% higher than male, with 26,489 early female votes to 22,009 male. There were also 3,352 voters who did not indicate a sex on their applications.

The demographics were overwhelmingly white, accounting for 83.3% of early voters, though the voting totals became somewhat more diverse over the course of the early voting period. After the first week, the vote was more than 88% white. The second-largest racial group was Black voters, who accounted for 8.7% of the vote, followed by people of unknown race at 5.8%.

Below are blue links to candidate questionnaires (if there is not a link, it’s because PCD did not hear back from the candidates by press after multiple attempts to contact them).

NC Senate District 7

NC House District 18

NC House District 20

Sheriff, 4-year term

Board of Education: 4 seats are open

Board of Commissioners: 2 seats are open

Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

Brunswick County

In Brunswick County, a recorded 45,607 ballots were cast compared to 37,616 in 2018. There were 20,191 Republican votes to Democrats’ 11,707. Unaffiliated voters comprised 16,527 ballots, while third-party voters made up 117 Libertarians to one Green Party ballot.

The Leland site was the most popular, recording 13,385 votes, while Bolivia was the least-frequented site at 2,857 ballots cast. 

The Brunswick County Board of Elections does not provide breakdowns of demographics on its voters, including race or sex.

NC Senate District 8

  • Incumbent Republican William “Bill” Rabon

NC House District 17

NC House District 19 (unopposed)

  • Incumbent Republican Charlie Miller

Sheriff (unopposed)

Board of Commissioners, District 1 (unopposed)

  • Republican Randy Thompson

Board of Commissioners, District 2 (unopposed)

Board of Education: 2 seats are open

Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

  • Jody E. Clemmons
  • Anthony Wayne (Tony) Street
  • Mike Barbee

Pender County

Pender County local board of elections does not break down numbers by party or demographics. According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Pender County counted 13,085 votes by the end of early voting Saturday.

It’s outpacing the county’s 2018 midterm numbers, which recorded 12,601 votes.

NC Senate District 9 (unopposed)

  • Incumbent Republican Brent Jackson

NC House District 16 (unopposed)

  • Incumbent Republican Carson Smith Jr. 

Sheriff (unopposed)

Board of Education: 2 seats are open

  • Incumbent Republican Ken Smith, District 4
  • Democrat Demetrice Keith, District 4
  • Republican Beth Burns, District 2
  • Democrat Sheree Shepard, District 1
  • Republican Brent Springer, District 1

Pender County Board of Commissioners District 1 (unopposed)

  • Republican Jimmy T. Tate (already serving; read more here)

Pender County Board of Commissioners District 2 (unopposed)

Pender County Board of Commissioners District 3 (unopposed)

Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisor (unopposed)

  • Bill Murrell


New Hanover County’s 1/4-cent Transportation Sales Tax Referendum

Voters will be asked to cast their wishes “for” or “against” a 1/4-cent transportation sales tax increase. It will equal an extra penny for every $4 spent to help improve and expand the Wave Transit bus system, fund new multi-use paths and back a major project to relocate rail tracks out of Wilmington.

The referendum language on the ballot will appear as:

“One-quarter percent (1/4%) local sales and use taxes, in addition to the current local sales and use taxes, to be used only for public transportation systems.”

Catch up on PCD’s coverage on the referendum below:

Pender County’s $178 million School Bond Referendum

Voters will decide whether to allocate multimillions to cover seven proposed projects across the county, including a new 800-student K-5 elementary school and a 1,200-student 6-8 school. The goal is to begin construction in 2023.

The question posed to voters will be answered “yes” or “no”:

“Shall the order authorizing Pender County general obligation bonds in the
maximum amount of $178,000,000 plus interest to pay capital costs of
providing school facilities and paying related costs, and providing that
additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of
and interest on the bonds, as adopted by the County’s Board of Commissioners
on August 1, 2022, be approved?”

Catch up on PCD’s coverage on the referendum below:

Candidate Town Halls

Port City Daily joined forces with media partners WHQR and WECT to host three town halls ahead of the 2022 elections season. Below you will can watch the New Hanover County Board of Education, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners and the N.C. State and House race candidates answer questions from reporter moderators. The events were hosted at CFCC’s Union Auditorium the first three Wednesdays of October, open free to the public.

NHC Board of Education: Click here

Catch up with WHQR’s fact-checking from the board of ed town hall here and a wrap -up of the event here.

NHC Board of Commissioners: Click here

Catch up with WHQR’s fact-checking from the commissioners’ town hall here.

NC House and Senate Candidates: Click here

Catch up with WHQR’s fact-checking from the state reps’ town hall here and wrap-up of the event here.

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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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