Few voters expected for Tuesday's runoffs

Posted July 16, 2012

— Five statewide races top the ballot in Tuesday's runoff primary election, but experts expect the turnout to be very low.

The runoffs include Republican races for lieutenant governor, superintendent of public instruction, secretary of state and insurance commissioner and the Democratic race for labor commissioner. Nominees for a handful of legislative races also will be decided Tuesday, as will some municipal races in Goldsboro.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

"In political science, we talk about low informational elections like lieutenant governor and Council of State races," said Steven Greene, an associate professor of political science at North Carolina State University.

"A runoff like these elections is what we might call a 'super-duper low informational election,' where very few voters are going to make it to the polls and, honestly, very few people have paid attention to any particular campaign," Greene said.

Wake County Commissioner Tony Gurley takes on Raleigh architect Dan Forest in the lieutenant governor race, with the winner facing Democrat Linda Coleman in November.

{{a href=story-2"}}The GOP runoff for superintendent of public instruction matches Wake County school board member John Tedesco against special education teacher Richard Alexander.{{/a}} The winner will go up against incumbent June Atkinson.

Former state House co-speaker Richard Morgan of Southern Pines is going up against former insurance agent Mike Causey of Greensboro for the insurance commissioner post. The winner will take on incumbent Wayne Goodwin.

Voting booth with stickers Runoffs to decide nominees in five statewide races

For secretary of state, former Wake County Commissioner Kenn Gardner is running against Chowan County Commissioner Ed Goodwin, with the winner facing incumbent Elaine Marshall.

The only statewide Democratic race is for labor commissioner, with former commissioner John Brooks seeking to regain his old job and lobbyist Marlowe Foster looking for the nod against incumbent Cherie Berry.

Greene said few voters will decide which names appear on the November ballot for half of the 10 members on North Carolina's Council of State.

"We need to rethink how we do these elections, and personally, I think some sort of runoff instant vote would make a lot more sense," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Hill55 Jul 17, 2012

    I voted. No one else was in sight.

    These runoff's are a waste of money. How much money is spent and how many teachers could be hired with the savings?

    I would to see if any of the winners weren't already the top vote getter in the primary.

  • oleguy Jul 17, 2012

    I voted,, number 4, the group at the polls were glad to see me,,, Now I can gripe...

  • carlostheass Jul 17, 2012

    If you don't go vote, don't BOTHER to get on here and gripe.

  • mmtlash Jul 16, 2012

    this is in stark contrast to the droves of people who voted on the amendment which enshrined discrimintation into the state constitiution by making it even more difficult for tax paying homosexuals to ever have the same right to marry in NC as heterosexual residents several months back....we can see where priorities are in NC...

  • 426X3 Jul 16, 2012

    Unfortunately its the low voter turnout that these so-called potential leaders depend on to help them win elections. Look at who we ended up with for President. People have got to vote not matter if they just write one in.