New Hanover County voters head to the polls for primary Election Day
On Tuesday, voters were at the polls to cast their ballots in the primary election, to decide which Republican or Democratic candidates will move on to the November general election in races for school board, county commissioner, sheriff, and others.
Candidate signs surrounded the Northeast Regional Library as voters entered the building to cast their ballots. On the way inside, voters encountered electioneers under tents, showing support for their favorite candidates.
One of those voters was 26-year-old Nick Denoncourt, who has been in Wilmington for eight months. He’s originally from Rochester, NY, and wants people to know millennials do go out and vote. He says the primary election is important if you want to see change in your city.
“You know, you can have crappy people on the left and crappy people on the right. And if you don't primary, and then you get people that have been in the same seat for 50 years that do nothing,” he said.
But for Luther Thomas Hines Jr., who said had a great voting experience, a lot of changes that are going on, are not needed, especially the school board.
“I wanted to get the Republicans in there. I just feel like school boards all over the country are going too far to the left. And we need to bring them back to where school boards used to be back when I was in school,” he said.
Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday and the polling site at CFCC's campus in downtown Wilmington had a steady flow of people exercising their right to vote by 8 a.m. For some people, like one voter who identified himself by his first name, Tom, it was a matter of duty.
“Because it's my right. I always vote," he said.
Janice Neil said she votes for the community she grew up in.
“It's a lot of things that need some work in the community. I'm a lifelong Wilmingtonian. And I have seen the city change dramatically. And some good, some bad. And it's just what we need to come together, put our heads together," she said.
While others, like a woman who introduced herself as Lauren, were focused on specific issues they want to see addressed.
“I have a son who's 10 years old. And it's really important that we…make sure all of our children get the proper education because some of our teachers who've been in education for years they've been leaving," she said.
Denise Depuccio felt most of the issues she is worried about are on the national level.
“But that always reflects local too. This is a really important turning point in our democracy. So you got to make sure that whoever you're voting for is going to be a worthy candidate," she said.
April Query was interested in education issues, but she says it’s also about instilling the importance of local elections in today’s youth.
“Local elections are just as important as national elections. And I have a five-year-old son, and I brought him with me to vote this time and kind of explained to him the importance of voting and that, you know, we have different people run our city and county and state and schools, and it's up to us to put our vote in to help pick who's doing that," she said.
According to the county’s board of elections, voter turnout has been stronger this year compared to 2018, the last midterm primary election.