By Catharin Shepard •
Staff writer •
More than 10,000 registered voters in Hoke County have already cast a ballot during the one-stop early voting period of the 2020 General Election, with several more days to go before the early voting period ends.
Out of Hoke County’s 32,930 registered voters, 10,686 had cast their ballot by the end of the day Monday, October 26, according to the Hoke County Board of Elections. The one-stop early voting period ends Saturday, October 31. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3.
The strong turnout eclipsed the numbers seen during early voting in the last presidential election year. In comparison, about 7,200 Hoke voters cast a ballot during the entire early one-stop voting period in 2016.
Of the 10,686 local voters who had already cast a ballot by Monday, 5,654 are Democrats, 2,295 are Republicans, 2,690 are Unaffiliated, 33 are Libertarian, two are Green Party and 12 are Constitution Party, according to Hoke Board of Elections numbers.
The county has two one-stop early voting sites open through October 31. One-stop early voting in Hoke County is available at the Board of Elections Office in the Pratt Building, 227 North Main Street in Raeford, and the Rockfish community building, 27479 Lindsay Road in Rockfish. As of Monday, more than 4,900 voters had cast a ballot at the one-stop site in Raeford, and more than 5,600 voters had cast a ballot at the one-stop site in Rockfish.
Presidential election years, usually with multiple federal, state and local races on the ballot, typically see higher voter turnout than in midterm or municipal-only election years. The coronavirus pandemic could also be a factor in people’s decision to take advantage of the early voting, Hoke Board of Elections Direction Towanna Jackson said in an email.
One-stop early voting sites are usually less crowded than polls on Election Day, though when early voting started October 15, there were long lines stretching from the Board of Elections office and down the block by the Raeford Post Office. Hundreds of people lined up on the first day of early voting, and while poll workers kept the line moving quickly, a line persisted for much of the day as more people turned out to vote. More than 4,300 Hoke voters turned out in person to cast a ballot in the first four days of one-stop early voting alone.
Although the deadline to register to vote passed October 9, eligible citizens can still register to vote using same-day registration during the one-stop early voting period. To use same-day registration, citizens must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of residence. Same-day registration is not available on Election Day.
Voters who have already voted by mail, can track a mailed-in absentee ballot using the state’s BallotTrax system online at https://northcarolina.ballottrax.net/voter.
Registered voters who plan to vote in person on Election Day can locate the assigned polling place using the online voter registration tool available at https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup. The online tool also shows a sample ballot, so voters can see what races and candidates are on the ballot before they vote.
Some of the local races up for election this fall include two seats on the Hoke County Board of Commissioners; two seats on the Hoke County Board of Education; State House District 48; State Senate District 21; and many state and federal elections.
For any questions about election matters, contact the Hoke County Board of Elections at (910) 875-9062, or visit https://www.hokecounty.net/235/Elections for more information
The News-Journal’s election coverage is ongoing at hokenews.com
The paper will provide updates of the count on Election Day beginning at 7:30 p.m. Coverage for that is also at www.hokenews.com