By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Next Thursday, April 28 will kick off the one-stop early voting period for the 2022 statewide primary partisan elections in North Carolina.
During one-stop early voting, citizens can come out to the one-stop early voting site in Hoke County to cast a ballot before Election Day. The one-stop period is 17 days and will end at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14.
There are two early voting sites opening for the primary election. The first is located at the Hoke County Board of Elections Office – in the Commissioners meeting room, inside the Pratt Building at 227 North Main Street in downtown Raeford. The second site is at the Rockfish Community Building at 2749 Lindsay Road in Rockfish. Both sites will be open for early voting and voters may visit either one.
The early voting schedule runs from Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Voting is closed on Sundays.
Election day for the upcoming partisan primary election is May 17. The county’s usual polling sites will open May 17 for in-person voting. All 15 precincts will be open on election day.
For information on voting or other election related matters, contact the Hoke County Board of Elections at (910) 875-9062, or visit online at https://www.hokecounty.net/235/Elections.
In local races, a large field of candidates will seek election to three seats up for contest this year on the Hoke County Board of Commissioners. A total of 10 candidates, including five Democrats and five Republicans, have filed to seek a seat on the board.
The incumbent commissioners who are seeking another four-year term are Chairman Allen Thomas, Vice Chairman Tony Hunt and Commissioner Harry Southerland. All three are Democrats. They will face a primary election challenge this May from Democrat candidates Carlton Barber and Lent Carr.
The five Republican candidates running for the commission are Johnny Boyles, Stephanie Carter, David Frump, Isaac A. Holder and Christopher Holland.
Candidate Isaac Holder reportedly sought to have his name removed from the ballot, but did not attend a Board of Elections meeting for that purpose and his name was included on the primary ballot that will go before voters. A campaign challenge alleged that he filed to run in violation of the Hatch Act.
Registered Republican and Democrat voters, and unaffiliated voters who choose to vote on a partisan ballot will be able to select three of the five candidates from their party in the primary election for commissioners. The primary will narrow the field to three Republican candidates and three Democrat candidates. Those candidates will face one another in the general election this November.
One anticipated local election will not be on the primary ballot because only one candidate from each party filed to seek the office. In the race for Hoke County Sheriff, incumbent Sheriff Roderick Virgil, a Democrat, filed to seek a four-year term in the office. Retired State Trooper Stevie Joe filed to run for sheriff as a Republican, after changing his party affiliation in November, according to public records.
The race for Hoke County Sheriff will not appear on the primary ballot but will be decided in November in the general election.
The race for Clerk of Superior Court will be on the Democrat primary ballot, after two Democrats filed to seek the office. Incumbent Evelyn McLeod will face candidate LaShonda Ely in the primary election. Ely filed last week to run for Clerk of Superior Court.
Filing for three seats on the Hoke County Board of Education will open this summer, along with filing for other non-partisan entities such as the Soil and Water Conservation Board.
Other state and federal races are also up for decision this year.