Tuesday is Election Day for most municipalities in North Carolina. And the prevailing sense among poll workers and voters is that more people are turning out to vote in municipal elections than in years past.
The first half of the day brought sunny skies.
In Leland, the battle over the future of the water and sewer utility, H2G0, was a motivating factor for many voters – including Jerry Surprise.
"Well, the water planning board is a big thing and whether we get a reverse osmosis plant and whether it’s paid for by the whole community or just the little village of Leland."
Across the bridge in Wilmington, Janet and Tom Trivett say they are enthusiastic about supporting their city candidates – who are incumbents. They braved an afternoon downpour, though, and had this to say about voting:
"Well, we both believe you don’t have any rights to complain about anything unless you vote for people to get the people you think in office that deserve to be there that can do the job you’re voting them to do."
New Hanover County Board of Elections Director Rae Hunter-Havens says that as of 4 PM, the unofficial count of voters is 9,625. In 2017, 13,990 people turned out. If the number of voters continues to increase Tuesday evening, turnout could be higher this year.
In Brunswick County, Chief Judge Johnnie Simpson oversees the Leland Cultural Arts Center polling location and says she’s excited to see the turnout.
"It’s been steady since 6:30 this morning. We have had lines but we’ve been able to manage them. The most that someone has had to wait is about 17 minutes."
Simpson says it’s important to check your polling location before you head out. If you go to the wrong place, you won’t be turned away, but your vote could be at risk.
"What happens with a provisional ballot is it has to go to the Board of Elections. After the voting that goes into a canvass."
Election workers research the ballots, says Simpson, to determine whether to count the ballot – or not. To avoid the risk a provisional ballot carries, find your correct polling location online.
Polls are open until 7:30 this evening.