With a very low turnout, voters in McDowell made their choices Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives and an associate justice candidate for the state Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, all 17 precincts were open in McDowell County from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Elections Director Kim Welborn said she had four poll workers at each precinct, which is the least amount allowed by law.
“It went well, a low turnout,” said Welborn.
The local turnout on Tuesday was just 2 percent. Welborn said overall approximately 1,200 people voted at the 17 precincts on Tuesday.
“We had anywhere from 18 voters at one particular precinct,” she said. “The highest was 134.”
The low turnout is not surprising since this primary was quite unusual and none of the candidates were local.
“For one like this, it is usually 5 to 10 percent,” said Welborn.
Voters made their decisions regarding the Democratic candidates for the 11th U.S. House District. Two Democrats, Tom Hill and Rick Bryson, were seeking the nomination of their party for the 11th U.S. House District’s seat.
Here in McDowell, local Democrats favored Hill over Bryson. Hill got 243 votes while Bryson received 209. Welborn said those totals include the early voting, the mailed in ballots and the voting on Tuesday.
However, Bryson, who is a Bryson City alderman, narrowly won the overall Democratic primary for the 11th Congressional District. He will go on to face the Republican incumbent, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, in November.
In addition, four candidates were on the ballot for the N.C. Supreme Court associate justice seat. They were Michael R. Morgan, Daniel Robertson, incumbent Justice Robert H. Edmunds and Sabra Jean Faires. Edmunds was easily the winner in McDowell with 946 votes. Morgan came in a distant second with 259 votes. In McDowell, Faires received 131 while Robertson got 31.
Those totals also included the early voting, the mailed in ballots and the voting on Tuesday.
In the statewide results, Edmunds came in first with 234,142 votes while Morgan, a Superior Court judge in Wake County, placed second with 167,221. Faires, who is a private practice lawyer in Wake, came in third with 58,588 votes while Daniel Robertson of Davie had 27,220, according to the state Board of Elections Website.
Edmunds and Morgan will face each other in the November election for the seat Edmunds now holds. Although the race is officially non-partisan, Edmunds had the strong support of the Republican Party in North Carolina.
Welborn has previously stated that holding this primary would cost McDowell County around $35,000. On Wednesday, she said the actual figure has yet to be determined.
“We’ve not gotten all the bills in yet,” she said.
The local Board of Elections will count the provisional ballots today. These are ballots given to a voter when there is some question about that person’s eligibility to vote. The canvass will be done Tuesday.