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Polls open for primary voting in North Carolina: here’s what to know

Polls+are+open+for+the+2024+primary+elections+March+5+from+6%3A30+a.m.+-+7%3A30+p.m.+
Kara Haselton
Polls are open for the 2024 primary elections March 5 from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

North Carolina is one of 15 states and one territory voting in the primary elections March 5. Voters in Watauga County will select candidates for national, state, municipal and local offices to represent their respective parties in the general election Nov. 5.

When and where do I vote?

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Voters can search for their assigned precinct through the State Board of Elections website. Polling locations for voters in Boone include: 

  • Laurel Fork Baptist Church located at 229 Jake Storie Road
  • Watauga County Administration Building located at 814 W. King St. 
  • Plemmons Student Union located at 263 Locust St.
  • Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute located at 372 Community College Drive
  • Agricultural Conference Center located at 252 Poplar Grove Road
  • Boone Town Chambers located at 1500 Blowing Rock Road
  • Three Forks Baptist Association located at 513 Jefferson Road
  • National Guard Armory located at 274 Martin Luther King Jr. St.
  • Foscoe Christian Church located at 8834 N.C. Highway 105 S. 

A list of other polling locations throughout Watauga County is on the Watauga County Board of Elections website

Voters must vote at their designated polling place on Election Day. If a voter is unable to vote from their assigned polling place, they may submit a provisional ballot from another polling location. 

What to vote with?

Voters may not register to vote on Election Day. Voters can check their registration status through the State Board of Elections website.

Starting in the 2023 municipal election, voters are now asked to show voter ID in North Carolina. 

A list of accepted IDs is on the State Board of Elections website. If a voter does not have an acceptable ID, they may request an ID exception form or vote with a provisional ballot and present an ID to the county board of elections before the county canvass on March 15.

Who is running?

Candidates from national, state, municipal and local elections are running in the primary to represent their respective parties. A list of candidates running in Watauga County is on the Watauga County Board of Elections website

What makes a primary different from a general election?

According to the State Board of Elections website, North Carolina recognizes five political parties: The Democratic Party, Republican Party, Libertarian Party, Green Party and the No Labels Party. 

Voters can register with one of the five parties or can register as unaffiliated. If registered with a certain party, voters must select candidates to represent their party in the general election.

In a primary election, unaffiliated voters can choose any of the five political parties’ ballots or a nonpartisan ballot.

What is unique to Watauga County this year?

In Watauga County, the Board of Education is the only nonpartisan race for voters to choose from and the only race in which more than one candidate can be selected. The Board of Education will be listed on each ballot.

Eight candidates are running for the school board and the six with the majority of the vote will move on to the general election on Nov. 5 to compete for three open seats. 

Alecia Jackson, a research professor at App State, went to vote in the Plemmons Student Union during the early voting period. She said the Board of Education was one of the reasons she voted in the primary election this year. 

“It’s a nonpartisan vote so it was important to advance my candidates forward for the fall election,” Jackson said.

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About the Contributors
Andrew Rice
Andrew Rice, Reporter
Andrew Rice (he/him) is a junior communications studies, journalism major, political science minor from Cary, NC.
Kara Haselton
Kara Haselton, Photojournalist
Kara Haselton (she/her) is a senior Interdisciplinary Studies (self-design, photojournalism and social justice) major from Raleigh, NC.
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