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Early voting begins in Eastern North Carolina

Several municipalities in Eastern North Carolina will have to wait until next year.
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - For Farmville Mayor John Moore, Thursday was a good day, as early voting began across North Carolina, including Pitt County.

“I feel great,” Moore said. “Certainly vote of confidence for the Town of Farmville to allow three incumbents to come back unopposed. That means a lot and we’ve all had a trying year during COVID, but we feel like we’ve done a good job and we hope the folks will come out and vote.”

But for the nearly 80,000 registered voters for the City of Greenville, they’ll have to wait until March 2022.

A new law delayed municipal elections for offices elected by districts due to the late 2020 census data.

The state said they’ll allow these municipalities to consider revising their electoral districts based on the new population numbers.

Pitt County Board of Elections Director Dave Davis said they know volume-wise it won’t be as big as a turnout. Without the voters registered in Greenville, Davis said that leaves about 17,000 eligible voters in Pitt County.

“It’s a small election because Greenville’s election been delayed due to redistricting to March of next year so just looking at Ayden, Bethel, Farmville...”

Dave Davis, Pitt County Board of Elections director
Early voting in Lenoir County.
Early voting in Lenoir County.(WITN)

In Lenoir County, there were no delays in the election.

“For us in Lenoir County, it made no difference,” Steve Hines, director of elections said. “All our... municipalities were done citywide so there are no districts in our municipalities.”

“If you’re in a municipality where the districts are drawn by that population change, those elections were delayed. But if your city elections were done citywide like for Kinston, everybody gets to vote for everybody that’s on the ballot. Then you can continue on with your election process.”

Steve Hines, Lenoir County director of elections

A precinct judge at the Teachers’ Memorial School gym in Kinston on Thursday said the turnout was steady, reporting at least 50 people after 1 p.m.

“This, for us in Lenoir County, is simply a municipal election,” Hines said.

“Some people get confused because let’s say they have a City of Kinston address, they think that they’re entitled to vote in the City of Kinston elections and that’s not necessarily the case. It’s that you have to actually live in the city… you have to live in the city limits.”

Steve Hines, Lenoir County director of elections

Hines said it’s not just the municipal election they’re having to focus on. The countywide, Senate and House races will be affected by the 2020 Census delay and redrawing of the maps.

The one-stop early voting places in Pitt County will close on Oct. 30 at 3 p.m.

On Tuesday, Nov. 2, Election Day polling places open.

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