Voters here and across North Carolina may see rain today, but officials say inclement weather will not keep people from the polls.
According to the National Weather Service, there is a slight chance of rain this afternoon and tonight in Scotland County.
Dell Parker, director of the county Board of Elections, predicts local voters will come out regardless of the weather.
Some 5,400 Scotland County registered voters are expected to take part in today’s general elections, according to officials. More than 8,000 ballots have already been cast in the county during early voting.
The county’s 10 polling precincts open at 6:30 this morning and will close at 7:30 p.m. Results will be made public at the Scotland County courthouse as early as 8:30 p.m.
Parker expects the 13-hour voting period to proceed smoothly, although in the event of rain, voters should be sure that ballots are dry to be read by machine.
“The only issue is that they are calling for rain, so to prevent any problems with the machines we will be giving every voter a paper towel and asking them to dry their hands before voting,” she said. “As long as the ballot stays dry, we will not have any problems.”
Early voting ended Saturday, with 675 people voting on that day. In total, 8,485 voters participated in early voting for the November election, out of 23,111 registered voters in the county. Dell Parker, director of the Scotland County Board of Elections, predicted a 60 percent voter turnout rate overall.
“In 2008, 62 percent voted,” said Parker. “Since our one-stop numbers were lower than they were in 2008, I predict a two percent difference. But it’s really a guessing game. I’d love to see more than 60 percent; I’d like to see everybody come out and vote.”
In 2008, Scotland County saw a total of 8,968 voters at one stop. This time around, the county fell short of that number by 483 votes.
Overall, early voting went off without a hitch despite a record turnout of 913 voters on the first day of voting and enthusiastic campaign workers stationed outside the Board of Elections.
“There were lines in every county, but here no one stood in line for more than five minutes,” Parker said. “Every year I get complaints about electioneers at one-stop. It’s nothing new, but our citizens don’t like them hollering at them and there’s nothing I can do about that.”
State Board of Elections reported that the number of ballots cast in-person during early voting reached 2.55 million as of Saturday, exceeding the record 2008 total of 2.4 million. Forty-eight percent of early voters in North Carolina were registered Democrats, while about 32 percent were Republicans.
For a last-minute check of voter registration status, to find out where to vote, or to view a sample ballot, visit the state Board of Elections at www.ncsbe.gov.
When voting, remember that a “straight party” vote does not include the office of president or any nonpartisan race or issue. You must vote for president separately from the other offices
Also, for paper ballots, be sure to turn the ballot over because there are contests on the back of the ballot.
Most voters will not be required to show ID in order to vote. In other words, there is no general requirement for voters to show their voter registration card or their driver license.