© 2024 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Municipal Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 2nd.

New Hanover County Board of Elections
Sample ballot for the 2021 Wilmington municipal elections -- Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Municipal voters are going to the polls tomorrow. On the ballot in New Hanover County are the mayoral and council elections for Wilmington and the beach towns of Carolina, Kure, and Wrightsville — and there are local races in Brunswick and Pender counties, as well. Here's what you need to know.

In preparation for tomorrow, Tuesday, November 2, voters can look up their registration status and polling location on the State Board of Elections website.

This year, there’s no voter id requirement (a federal district court enjoined the requirement on New Year's Eve of 2019). The only exception would be if a resident registered to vote without providing the last four digits of their social security number or their North Carolina driver's license number.

While there are no county elections (e.g. school board, commissioners, Sheriff, etc), information on local races is managed by each county's board of election.

New Hanover County races

New Hanover County Elections Director Rae Hunter-Havens said if voters have questions on Election Day they can see their polling place chief judge or call her office at 910-798-7330.

She added that this year’s one-stop or early voting totals are far surpassing those in past election years. As of Friday, the count was around 7,500. In 2019, the total number was around 4,200, and in 2017, it was close to 2,800.

“[What's] going to be interesting to see is, are we going to see a significantly greater voter turnout within the whole election cycle, or just more of those voters who are going to vote choosing to do so early in-person as opposed to waiting until Election Day?” said Hunter-Havens.

While most municipal elections are non-partisan, candidates often run on a party ticket and voters frequently turn out to cast ballots along party lines. So, which party turned out early? It's hard to tell, according to Rae Hunter-Havens, because of the large turnout of unaffiliated voters — as of Saturday morning, 2,495 of these voters had turned out, alongside 3,338 Democrats and 2,706 Republicans.

These voter affiliation breakdowns are available on the county's One-Stop visualization site.

Polls are open tomorrow from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. — anyone in line by 7:30 p.m. will be able to cast a ballot. Hunter-Havens said, "all voters have the right to cast a ballot, if they are not registered in a specific precinct, they can still vote provisionally."

Hunter-Havens said the most popular time for voters to turn out is between about 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and so "if voters who might want to reduce the probability of waiting in line might want to think about picking a slightly different time."

She also said Election Day is still a school day, so voters whose polling places are schools "will want to be mindful, as they make their decisions about when to vote during the day just to avoid additional wait times due to student drop off traffic."

Curbside voting is also available to those voters who are not able to enter the polling site due to a disability or other issue.

Election night returns could be in around 10:30 p.m. — but results aren’t official until the canvass on Tuesday, November 9th.

Brunswick and Pender races

There are numerous municipal races in Brunswick County — including Leland, Southport, H2GO and more — and Pender County — including Surf City and Burgaw.

Polling location hours are the same as New Hanover County — 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. You can find your polling place for Pender County here or contact 910-259-1220 or PenderBOE@pendercountync.gov.

Find polling locations in Brunswick County here or contact 910-253-2629 / 910-253-2618 or Elections@BrunswickCountyNC.org

For more information, including sample ballots, visit:

Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR