Early voting turnout low across region - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Early voting turnout low across region

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SOUTHEASTERN, NC (WECT) – Voter turnout is low across southeastern North Carolina, according to area elections officials.

In New Hanover County 1,182 people had participating in one-stop voting as of late Tuesday afternoon, according to Marvin McFayden, director of the New Hanover County Board of Elections. That's less than two percent of eligible voters.

One-stop voting, which began Oct. 17, ends Saturday.

In the last municipal election two years ago, 17 percent of eligible voters cast one-stop ballots, although McFayden noted that more voters were eligible due to the Castle Hayne incorporation issue.

Two Wilmington city council candidates, incumbent Kevin O'Grady and challenger Skip Watkins, who were campaigning outside the Board of Elections Tuesday agreed that the low voter turnout could be due in part to the fact that Mayor Bill Saffo is running unopposed.

But that's where the agreement ends.

 "I think that the city council's done a pretty good job, and I think people are satisfied with their local government," O'Grady said. "They may not be satisfied with all government, but the local government, they're pretty satisfied with, and that tends to make people relax a little bit."

When asked to respond to O'Grady's comments, Watkins said, "I think that you're going to find a greater level of dissatisfaction.If people were satisfied with city government, I would think they might come out to defend it."  

One-stop early voting totals, as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the county boards of elections:

Bladen County: 330 voters…(6% of eligible voters)

Brunswick County: 495 voters....(1% of eligible voters)

Columbus County: 125 voters…(2% of eligible voters)

New Hanover County: 1,182 voters…(2% of eligible voters)

Pender County: 171 voters…(4% of eligible voters)

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