The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 9, 2012

Close to 71 percent vote, a near record

By Brian Graves, Staff Writer

Friday, November 9, 2012 — Stanly County voters almost beat their previous best efforts by hitting an unofficial 70.7 percent turnout for Tuesday’s election.

Election officials were able to get the totals completed by 10:18 p.m.; however, those numbers will not be official until a complete canvass of the machines, absentees, write-ins and provisional votes can be accomplished.

The board of elections is scheduled to meet Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. for the provisional and absentee count and then will meet Nov. 16 for the final canvass at which time the results will be made official.

There are 40,423 registered voters in the county.

Of that number, 15,828 cast early votes and 11,778 went to the polls on election day.

“Everything went well,” Election Director Kimberly Wilson said.  

“We had a few small things, but these were just the ordinary, routine things that pop up.”

Wilson said the 70.7 percent turnout figure does not reflect the provisional ballots.

In 2008, the turnout was 73.9 percent after all the approved ballots were made official.

“We have 560 provisional ballots this year, and probably not all of those will be eligible, so we probably won’t hit the 2008 numbers,” she said.

“No matter, that is still a great turnout.”

Wilson also praised the election workers who, for some, began election day the night before preparing all the necessary materials and equipment.

“They do a wonderful job. They are very dedicated, even though the position pays very little, it’s not about that,” Wilson said.

“They want to make sure things are done the right way and they do a great job of doing that.”

She also had praise for the 20 student assistants who helped at the polls.

“I think they did a great job,” she said.

“We almost had one at every precinct and I hear nothing but great things about the students. All of those precincts that use them want them next time.”

Wilson explained the reason results were delayed being reported at the beginning of the evening was because of all the write-in votes, especially for the position of Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor.

“Our first precinct came in around 8:30,” Wilson said.

“In a general election, the write-ins have to be tallied. Since we didn’t have a candidate for that particular position, that added a lot to the write-ins. There are a few certified write-ins for the partisan offices. But, for non-partisan offices anyone is eligible. So, we did have quite a few and we are still sifting through everything to tally that up and it will take several days to complete that.”

A write-in candidate must have five votes to have their name reported in the final tallies.

All of that will be finalized within the next 10 days as election officials begin winding down this election cycle.

“I go through all the documents, make sure they are signed, count the unused ballots and make sure they match the figures and balance out,” Wilson said.

“Everybody says, ‘You’ll be glad when tonight’s over,’ but it’s really the beginning of the end,” she said.

“Everything is unofficial on election night.”