More than 2,600 cast ballots in Pasquotank, raising turnout above 11K


Providence precinct voters cast their ballots in Tuesday's election inside the gymnasium at Pasquotank County High School earlier this morning.


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

More than 2,600 Pasquotank voters have cast ballots in today’s election, boosting turnout, including that for early voting, past 11,000.

Voting was heaviest at three Pasquotank precincts: Providence, where 500 voters had cast ballots as of 2 p.m.; Mt. Hermon where 435 had voted; and Nixonton, where 374 had voted.

The percentage of turnout prior to today’s voting was already 30 percent.  

For Providence voters, who cast their ballots at Pasquotank County High School, a number said county-level contests were their focus.

For Pam Ganster, the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education was a high priority. She said she's concerned about the school system, and feels teachers aren't respected as much as they should be. She chose to vote for incumbent board Chairwoman Sharon Warden and newcomer George Archuleta for school board, she said. Warden, Archuleta and Ron Payne are running for two Outside City seats on the school board.

Ganster also said she voted for Eddie Graham for sheriff, opting for the Democrat over Republican candidate Tommy Wooten. Ganster said a friend of hers was a city police officer, and had recommended Graham to her. Graham is a sergeant with the Elizabeth City Police Department; Wooten is a sergeant with the sheriff's department.

Ganster also said she didn't have strong preferences in the other races, including for General Assembly, and said she felt the candidates needed to be more focused on supporting military veterans.

Derek Bazemore said he trusted his “gut” in voting Tuesday, but declined to say which candidates he voted for in most races. The sheriff's race was the exception; he said he chose Graham, explaining he has neighbors who are police officers, and they recommended Graham.

Sandi Beasley and Ana Bundy said in separate interviews they voted straight-ticket Republican, but had few comments on specific candidates. Bundy noted she felt the judicial candidates were important, leading her to support Republican Supreme Court judge Barbara Jackson.

Beasley quipped she opted for “the better of two evils” on Tuesday, adding she also supported all six constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Northeastern North Carolina does not have a contested congressional race, so the region is poised to return Republican U.S. Rep. Walter Jones to Washington once more. Nevertheless, Beasley acknowledged the national media are framing the midterms as a referendum on President Donald Trump.

Elections should be messages to leaders, Beasley said, adding she was partially satisfied with the president.

Asked about his focus on immigration issues in the final days of the midterm, Beasley said she hadn't been listening, but she wanted to see legal, orderly immigration, not people just “showing up” at the border.

Speaking anonymously, another conservative voter said he was a strong Trump supporter, and felt Republicans were moving the country and the state in the right direction. That led him to vote for state Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, for state Senate in District 1, he said.

At Pasquotank’s South precinct at the K.E. White Center in Elizabeth City, Chaz Miller saw things differently. He said he supported Washington County Commissioner Cole Phelps for the state Senate seat. The state needs more balanced representation between the parties, he said.

“Both sides need to be represented,” Miller said. “We don't need extremism in either direction.”

Miller also said he voted for Graham for sheriff, explaining he believes Miller to be a nice, understanding person. He didn't have strong preferences for county commissioner or school board, he added.

On the constitutional amendments, Miller criticized them as “very misleading.” He said he's an outdoorsman, but he still opposed the amendment stating a right to hunt and fish. The amendment could have unexplained or unintended consequences, he said.