WATAUGA — The Watauga County Board of Elections hopes to see more voters at the polls on Election Day on Nov. 5, as Director Matt Snyder said the polls have been “quiet” during one-stop early voting.
“We hope everybody gets out and votes,” Snyder said. “Every election is an important election.”
Approximately 671 voters had turned out for early voting at two polling sites between Oct. 16-30. Of the 20 precinct polling places in Watauga County, 11 will be open from on 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 for the municipal elections.
The following precincts will open on Election Day: Blowing Rock, Beech Mountain, Watauga, Boone 1, Boone2 , Boone 2, New River 1, New River 2, New River 3, Brushy Fork and Blue Ridge. For municipal elections, the Watauga precinct votes at the Seven Devils Town Hall instead of the Foscoe Fire Department. Permanent precinct changes include New River 3 now meeting at the National Guard Armory instead of Mount Vernon Baptist Church and Boone 2 going to the Plemmons Student Union on Appalachian State University’s campus instead of Legends.
Precincts not open on Nov. 5 include Beaver Dam, Cove Creek, Stoney Fork, North Fork, Shawneehaw, Meat Camp, Elk, Bald Mountain and Laurel Creek.
Snyder reiterated that only those voters who are registered and live within municipal town limits are able to vote in this election. To find out if a voter lives within town limits, visit the State Board of Elections website at ncsbe.gov and search a voter name. Snyder said the website will state if there is an available ballot. Voters can also call the Watauga Board of Elections office at (828) 265-8061 for more information.
Same-day registration is not available on Election Day as it is during one-stop voting. The exceptions to this includes those who’ve become a nationalized citizen since the cut-off date for registration on Oct. 11, felons who have had full rights restored after that date, or are active duty military who are home, according to Snyder.
Boone, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils all have three seats available on their town councils. Blowing Rock has two open seats and the position of mayor.
Boone has Dustin Hicks, Nancy LaPlaca and Virginia Roseman as well as current Council Member Loretta Clawson vying for three seats. Six candidates are running for three seats in Beech Mountain. Current Council Members Wendel Sauer, Carl Marquardt and (Mayor) Renee Castiglione and challengers Jimmie Accardi, Erin Gonyea and Kelly Melang are attempting to take a seat.
Seven Devils Council Members Kay Ehlinger and (Mayor) Larry Fontaine are campaigning for re-election as challengers Wayne Bonomo and Jeff Williams vie for the three open seats. Current Blowing Rock Council Members Albert Yount and Jim Steele and challengers Ray Pickett and David Harwood are contesting for two seats. Charlie Sellers is running unopposed for his current position as mayor of Blowing Rock.