Early voting for primary runoffs ends Saturday

Posted July 14, 2012 10:38 a.m. EDT
Updated July 14, 2012 5:53 p.m. EDT


— One-stop voting sites in several hotly contested districts across North Carolina closed Saturday at 1 p.m., ending the early voting period for primary runoff elections.

All polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Fifteen of the 16 candidates who were eligible to request second primaries in state legislative, congressional and Council of State races did so in May. 

A second primary happens when no candidate wins more than 40 percent of the vote in a party's first primary. The second-place finisher then is able to call for a second primary to determine who goes on to the general election.

In the Triangle, five Council of State races, two state Senate races and one state House race are of particular interest. Here's a look at some of the information voters will need to know before heading back to the polls. 

Q: What races are in play? 

In the WRAL News viewing area, eight primary runoffs are of particular interest. 

Lieutenant Governor (Republican)
Tony Gurley, a Wake County Commissioner who got 24.83 percent of the vote, has called for a second primary versus Dan Forest, who got 32.98 percent of the vote in a five-way primary. The winner will face Democrat Linda Coleman in November.

Insurance Commissioner (Republican)
Mike Causey, a Greensboro-area farmer and retired insurance executive, requested a second primary against former House co-speaker Richard Morgan of Moore County. Causey and Morgan, separated by 2 percentage points in May, will square off for the right to challenge incumbent Democrat Wayne Goodwin. 

Commissioner of Labor (Democrat)
Former labor commissioner John Brooks, who is trying to win his old job back, led the three-way field in May but fell 3 percentage points short of winning the nomination. He'll face lobbyist Marlowe Foster, who got 32.98 percent of the vote. The winnder will face Republican incumbent Cherie Berry. 

Secretary of State (Republican)
Former Wake County Commissioner Kenn Gardener challenged Chowan County Commissioner Ed Goodwin to a second primary after the two men won 29.82 percent and 35.94 percent, respectively, in the four-way May primary. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Elaine Marshall. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction
Wake County school board member John Tedesco, who garnered less than 30 percent of the vote in the five-way May primary, will face off with Richard Alexander, a special education teacher. The winner will face Democratic incumbent June Atkinson. 

State Senate District 12 (Republican)
Ronald Rabin will take on former House lawmaker Don Davis. District 12 includes parts of Lee, Harnett and Johnston counties.

State Senate District 21 (Democrat)
Robert Clark III, who won19 percent of the vote in May, will face Billy R. King, who received 24 percent of the vote. District 21 includes parts of Cumberland and Hoke counties. 

State House District 32 (Democrat)
Nathan Baskerville, who won nearly 40 percent of the vote in May, will face Jim Crawford. District 32 includes parts of Granville, Vance and Warren counties. 

Q: Who can vote? 

Registered Democrats or Republicans may vote in the second primary, even if they didn't vote on May 8. Unaffiliated voters who did not vote on May may also vote in either the Republican or Democratic second primary.

Unaffiliated voters who voted on May 8 may vote in the same party's primary. Registered Libertarians may not vote in the July 17 primary. 

Q: When can I vote? 

One-stop absentee voting and early voting for the July 17 primary begins Thursday, June 28.

Voters can visit early-voting locations during normal business hours every weekday between June 28 and July 13, except for July 4, when polling places will close for the holiday. Early voting ends Saturday, July 14. 

Q: Where can I vote? 

In Wake County, early voters should visit the Wake County Board of Elections office on South Salisbury Street. On primary day, most polling places will be open as usual.