LUMBERTON — Early voting for Tuesday’s Democratic primary run-off election for the District 2 seat on the Robeson County Board of Commissioners ended Saturday with a total of 331 voters having cast ballots. G.L. Pridgen, Robeson County’s Board of Elections director, said his office has also received 32 provisional ballots and three absentee mail ballots.
The early voting period began on July 3.
Only voters in the 12 precincts making up District 2 can take part in the run-off to re-elect Hubert Sealey, the incumbent commissioner, or elect Berlester Campbell, a former county commissioner. The commissioner race is the only contest on Tuesday’s ballot.
As of May 8, there were 9,793 voters eligible to vote in Tuesday’s run-off. Any properly registered Democrat residing in District 2 can vote in the election even if that person did not vote in the Democratic primary on May 6. Any registered unaffiliated voter who voted Democrat in the May 6 primary can also participate.
Since there is no Republican run-off, no registered Republicans can participate in this election.
Pridgen said Saturday that early voting went off without a hitch. There were no complaints about the process from candidates or voters, he said.
Pridgen, who has only been director of the BOE for a few months, said he does not have enough background on second primary elections in Robeson County to say if the early voting turnout for the run-off should be considered high or not. He did say that in the past it has often been the winner of early voting that becomes the victor after election day ballots are tallied.
On Tuesday, polls throughout District 2 will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Polling sites are located in Alfordsville, Back Swamp, Fairmont, Gaddys, Maxton, Orrum and Rowland. Ballots can also be cast in Smyrna, Sterlings, Thompson, Union and Whitehouse.
Sealey, from Fairmont, has served as a commissioner since 2002. He is a former employee of the N.C. Highway Patrol.
“I think the numbers are out there for me to win this election,” Sealey said Friday. “I think people will get out and vote on Tuesday.
“I’ve only been campaigning on my record, and he (Campbell) doesn’t have one” he said. “I have truthfully represented my constituents and all people in the county, and they know it.”
Campbell is from Fairmont, and was the commissioner Sealey defeated in his quest to join the Board of Commissioners in 2002.
“I ran my campaign on general issues and the need for change,” Campbell said Saturday. “People are asking for change and I feel I can bring about that change. I am honest, truthful, dependable and approachable.”
Sealey requested the run-off election between himself and Campbell, who was the high-vote getter in the six-way race for the District 2 seat when the Democratic Primary was held on May 6. Sealey was the second highest vote getter behind Campbell, with none of the six candidates garnering the 40 percent needed to prevent a run-off.
The winner of the run-off will be unopposed in the November General Election.