With a voter turnout that measured in the single digits, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones won an easy victory last week, defeating two Republican challengers so he can advance to the November election.
The primary election normally would have been held in March but a federal judge ruled some of North Carolina’s congressional districts were improperly drawn. That set up the June 7 election.
Across the state turnout for the election last week totaled 7 percent. In Perquimans County, the rate was 5 percent.
“It was just very slow,” said Perquimans Elections Director Sydni Banks.
During early voting locally, 130 people came in. Given that the polls were open for early voters between May 26 and June 4 for a total of 64 hours, that averages to about one voter every 30 minutes. Another nine people submitted absentee ballots by mail.
Perquimans has 9,898 registered voters.
A majority of local voters casting ballots last week were either Republicans or unaffiliated voters casting ballots as Republicans. There were 333 Perquimans ballots cast in the Republican race for Congress compared to 154 in the Democratic race.
Among Republicans, Jones had 229 votes compared to 62 for Phil Law and 42 for Taylor Griffin.
Jones is seeking an 11th consecutive term.
Jones' big win over Griffin and Law contrasts with a closer primary in 2014, when Jones only won 51 percent of the vote to Griffin's 45 percent. Griffin of New Bern, and Law, of Jacksonville, had both counted on an extra three months of campaigning to help them sway voters to finally oppose Jones' re-election.
On the Democratic side, Ernest Reeves had 90 votes compared to 63 for David Hurst. Across the district, the margin was a little closer. Reeves had 6,502 votes (54 percent) compared to Hurst.
Reeves ran unsuccessfully in this year's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Hurst, a party activist and retired restaurateur, filed for office last year. Reeves challenged him only after losing his Senate bid to Deborah Ross.
On the ballot statewide Tuesday was a nonpartisan primary for an eight-year term on the N.C. Supreme Court. The winners of that contest were incumbent Associate Justice Bob Edmunds, endorsed by Republican officials including Gov. Pat McCrory, and Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan, a registered Democrat.
The top two vote getters advance to the Nov. 8 general election where voters will finally decide who will take office. Two other candidates, Sabra Faires and Daniel Robertson, were on the ballot.
In Perquimans Edmunds had 293 voters compared to 115 for Morgan, 42 for Faires and 40 for Robertson.
The next election will be the big one in November. There will be no same-day registration to sign up and vote and voters will be required to show a photo ID or provide a reason why they can’t.