Early voting begins for city election


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Early voting begins today for Elizabeth City’s Oct. 8 election, and except for contested races in two wards, there may not be a lot of drama about the outcome.

For the first time in more than 20 years, there is no contested mayoral race on the city election ballot. Mayor Bettie Parker is running unopposed for a second two-year term.

Also running unopposed are First Ward Councilors Billy Caudle and Jeannie Young, and Fourth Ward Councilors Johnnie Walton and Darius Horton.

The only contested races on the ballot are in the city’s Second and Third wards.

In the Second Ward, incumbents Garbiel Adkins and Anita Hummer are seeking re-election to two-year terms. They’re being challenged by first-time candidate Chris Ruffieux.

Over in the Third Ward, incumbents Rickey King and Kem Spence are also seeking re-election to two-year terms. They’re being challenged by Michael Brooks, a former city councilor.

All early voting takes place at the Pasquotank Board of Elections Office at 1409 Parkview Drive. It will be held weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, Oct. 4.

Camden County voters who live in the city limits may cast early ballots at the Camden Board of Elections office at 117 N.C. Highway 343 in Camden. That office’s hours for early voting also will be weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 4.

Absentee voting by mail, which began Sept. 6, will continue through Oct. 8 at 5 p.m. The last day to request an absentee ballot for absentee voting by mail is Tuesday, Oct. 1, and it must be done by 5 p.m.

One deadline for the city election has already passed. The voter registration and party change deadline was Sept. 13. However, thanks to same-day registration new voters will be able to register and vote during the early voting period.

Voters also won’t be required to show a photo ID for Oct. 8 city election. That will change, however, starting in January 2020.

According to Pasquotank County elections data, black voters outnumber white voters in Elizabeth City, 6,056 to 4,694. Female voters, meanwhile, outnumber male voters, 6,486 to 4,735.

In the Second Ward, white voters outnumber black voters, 1,700 to 1,367. Female voters also outnumber male voters, 1,847 to 1,393.

In the Third Ward, black voters outnumber white voters, 1,808 to 777. Female voters also outnumber male voters there as well, 1,668 to 1,004.