The Republican second primary in the 11th Congressional District will take place as planned on Tuesday, June 23, with significant safeguards to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
The contest – North Carolina’s only second primary in 2020 – is between Republicans Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorn, who are seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. House of Representatives District 11. The winner will face Democrat Moe Davis, Green Party candidate Tamara Zwinak and Libertarian Tracey DeBruhl in the Nov. 3 general election, according to a news release.
All three voting options in North Carolina – absentee by-mail, in-person early voting and in-person voting on Election Day – will be available to eligible Republican and unaffiliated voters in the district. That includes McDowell County.
The county boards of elections in the 17 counties that make up the district, including McDowell, began mailing absentee ballots to voters who requested them on Friday, May 8. The last day to request a ballot by mail is Tuesday, June 16. The in-person, early voting period runs from Thursday, June 4 to Saturday, June 20. On Election Day, June 23, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., according to the news release.
Significant precautions will be taken to protect in-person voters and poll workers at early voting sites and Election Day precincts. They include:
* Masks available for all poll workers and voters who do not bring their own.
* Single-use pens for voters to mark their ballots.
* Single-use cotton swabs for voters using touchscreen voting machines.
* Enforced social distancing for all poll workers and voters, including markings or barriers to prevent voters in line from standing too close together.
* Hand sanitizer for voters and poll workers.
* Face shields and gloves for poll workers.
* Protective barriers between poll workers and voters at check-in tables.
* Special sanitation kits at each precinct to ensure poll worker protection and clean tables, voting booths and voting machines throughout the voting process.
* Thorough cleaning of voting sites before and after the election.
“Voters should not fear disease when they cast their ballot,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “We want them to know that elections officials are taking many steps to protect them and their fundamental right to vote in this second primary. Efforts during this second primary will help us better prepare for any disease pandemic we may face in November.”