LAURINBURG — Noting that last week’s primary election drew unusually low turnout, the Scotland County Board of Elections declared the results official on Tuesday.
Of 22,094 registered voters in Scotland County, 6,413 of them cast ballots in the primary: 4,429 Democratic ballots, 1,949 Republican, 29 unaffiliated, and six libertarian.
“It’s very low; normally we push about 36 to 40 percent and this barely got us to 29,” said Elections Director Dell Parker.
Those totals include 2,361 people who voted during the one-stop voting period, 66 absentee ballots, and 28 provisional ballots.
On Election Day, the polling place at the National Guard Armory had the highest voter turnout with 21.5 percent of those registered casting a ballot that day. The Scotland Place precinct was the only other with more than 20 percent voter turnout on Election Day.
Precinct 1 at the county annex had the lowest Election Day voter turnout, with 12.7 percent of the 2,923 registered in that precinct voting.
“It’s a primary election, also I think moving it up might have had a little bearing,” said board chairman Hal Culberson. “Early voting was down, which was a little surprising to me.”
Before declaring the results official, the board of elections hand-counted ballots from precincts three and five to verify accuracy.
“After each election the state board will do a sample audit and they’ll tell us what precincts we have to do, and they’ll also tell us what race we have to do,” Parker said.
In the Democratic presidential primary, 2,674 Scotland County voters cast ballots for Hillary Clinton and 1,146 voted for Bernie Sanders. In the Republican primary, the two top vote-getters in Scotland County were Donald Trump with 964 votes and Ted Cruz with 619.
In the governor’s race, Democrats Roy Cooper and Ken Spaulding received 2,094 and 1,647 votes respectively. Republican incumbent Pat McCrory received 1,450 votes.
In the primary for Stewartsville candidates for the Scotland County Board of Education, Rick Singletary received 3,358 votes, Jeff Byrd received 2,512 votes, Wayne Cromartie received 2,236 votes, Pat Gates received 2,228 votes, Brian Gainey received 1,247 votes, and Karen Ackwood-James received 1,062 votes to move forward to contest three seats in the November general election. Among other candidates, Dorothy Moore received 990 votes, Rob Macy received 904 votes, and Gregory Taylor received 645 votes.
Incumbent district attorney Kristy Newton received 2,533 votes to challenger James Allen’s 1,696, also winning in Hoke County.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.