Early voting begins Wednesday for 3rd District race


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Early voting starts Wednesday for next month’s special election to decide eastern North Carolina’s next congressman.

Election offices will be open for early voting in the 3rd Congressional District from Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 6, with election day to follow on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

On the ballot are 3rd District candidates state House Rep. Greg Murphy, a Republican from Greenville; former Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas, a Democrat; Greg Holt, the Constitution Party candidate from New Bern; and Tim Harris, a Libertarian candidate from New Bern.

The winner will fill the remainder of the two-year term started by Walter Jones, R-N.C., who died in February. The new congressman will represent 17 counties, with much of the district’s population and voters concentrated in Pitt, Onslow, Craven and Carteret counties.

Most of the election offices in the region will be open for early voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays during the early voting period. Currituck County will offer an extra hour of early voting on the last two days of early voting. It will be open to voters from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 5-6.

Chowan and Currituck are also offering some Saturday voting. Chowan will offer voting from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, while Currituck will offer voting on Saturday, Aug. 31 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All boards of elections will be closed on Monday, Sept. 2, for the Labor Day holiday.

Early voting locations for the five counties are:

Pasquotank: 1409 Parkview Drive, Elizabeth City

Camden: 117 N.C. Highway 343 Highway North, Camden

Chowan: 730 N. Granville St., Edenton

Currituck: 2811 Caratoke Highway, Currituck

Perquimans: 601A S. Edenton Road St., Hertford.

Both Murphy and Thomas will probably be looking to drive up turnout in their home county, given Pitt yielded thousands of votes for them in their primary elections earlier this year. Thomas also faces an uphill climb; the district hasn’t elected a Democrat in more than 20 years.

On the campaign trail, Murphy has touted his experience as a lawmaker and doctor, while also pledging to strongly support Republican President Donald Trump. He’s expressed concerns over Trump’s tariffs, but says the president’s tough stance on trade with China is long overdue. He has also taken very conservative positions on fiscal and social issues.

Thomas has focused on pocketbook issues, citing the district’s need for more affordable health care, infrastructure, education and other investments. He’s also taken more moderate stances than some national Democrats, such as favoring Medicaid but not single-payer health care and opposing Trump’s impeachment.