By Dave Russell
The Nov. 8 mid-term election, the third and final installment of a three-election year in Jackson County, is only 33 days from today (Thursday).
Jackson County voters will cast ballots in four contested races, with two candidates running unopposed.
In the race for Jackson County Sheriff, Democrat Rick Buchanan and Republican Doug Farmer will face off.
Incumbent Democrat Brian McMahan will face Republican Mark Letson for County Commission chairman.
In County Commission District 1, incumbent Democrat Gayle Woody will face Republican Todd Bryson.
Incumbent Democrat Boyce Deitz will face the GOP’s John Smith in County Commission District 2.
Running unopposed are Democrats Kim Poteet for Clerk of Court, and Shandra Sims for Register of Deeds.
Local sample ballots, usually obtainable by looking up a voter’s registration on the N.C. State Board of Elections website, were unavailable Monday and the page was still giving 404 messages Wednesday morning.
“We are updating GEOcode, putting in road names that are not currently in the GEOcode so the sample ballots are currently unavailable,” Jackson County Elections Director Lisa Lovedahl said.
Sample ballots are available in the lobby of the county elections office in the Skyland Services Center, 876 Skyland Drive, Sylva.
ΗΗΗ Early votingΗΗΗ
One-Stop voting begins Oct. 20. Hours for early voting are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the following sites:
• Cashiers Recreation Center, 355 Frank Allen Road, Cashiers
• Cullowhee Recreation Center, 88 Cullowhee Mountain Road, Cullowhee.
• Qualla Community Building, 181 Shoal Creek Church Loop, Whittier.
• Skyland Services Center, 876 Skyland Drive, Sylva.
• WCU Hinds University Center, 245 Memorial Drive, Cullowhee.
Election day, November 8, polling hours are 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., when all polling locations in the county will be open.
ΗΗΗ Sample ballots ΗΗΗ
Nov. 8 will decide a U.S. Senate seat, all 14 U.S. House seats, two seats on the N.C. Supreme Court, four seats on the N.C. Court of Appeals, all 170 seats in the N.C. General Assembly, and many judicial and local seats across the state.
More than 7.35 million voters are registered in the state, with 29,544 in Jackson, Lovedahl said.
When the GEOcode updating is complete, sample ballots will be available through the State Board’s Voter Search tool. Voters should locate their voter record and scroll down to the “Your Sample Ballot” section.
ΗΗΗ Absentee ballotsΗΗΗ
In North Carolina, all registered voters may request an absentee-by-mail ballot.
Voters may do so online using the Absentee Ballot Portal (votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home). On the portal, select “Option 1 – Request an Absentee Ballot.”
Mail-in requests should use the English N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form for 2022 or the Spanish N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form for 2022. Both are available at www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-mail.
The paper absentee ballot request form can be mailed or returned in person to the county board of elections. The county board of elections must receive the completed and signed absentee request form by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1.
The absentee ballot portal opened for military and overseas voters, as well as visually impaired voters, to receive and return their absentee ballot through the online service.
ΗΗΗ Important Dates and DeadlinesΗΗΗ
Friday, Oct. 14: Regular voter registration deadline for voters who want to vote on Election Day.
Thursday, Oct. 20: One-stop, in-person early voting begins. Eligible individuals may register and vote at any one-stop early voting site in their county.
Tuesday, Nov. 1: Absentee ballot request deadline. The State Board encourages voters to request their absentee ballot as early as possible to ensure enough time to complete and return the ballot.
Saturday, Nov. 5: In-person early voting and registration ends at 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 8: Election Day. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Voters should go to their designated Election Day polling place, found through the Voter Search tool. Absentee ballots received after 5 p.m. Nov. 8 must be postmarked by Election Day and received by mail by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14. Ballots without a postmark must be received by Nov. 8.
Friday, Nov. 18: County canvass day; results are certified at the county level.
Tuesday, Nov. 29: State canvass day; final results are certified statewide.