May 8 is primary, early voting open now
Early voting continues today, May 3, and Friday, May 4, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Any registered Swain County voter can vote at either of two voting sites: the Board of Elections office at 1422 Hwy 19 South in Bryson City, or the Birdtown Rec Center at 1212 Birdtown Road in Cherokee.
In early voting so far, 415 voters have cast their vote at the Board of Elections office and 67 voters have cast their vote at the Birdtown Rec Center, as of 2 p.m. Tuesday.
“Get out and vote, there’s no waiting,” said Swain BOE Director Joan Weeks. “If you’re unable to come inside, we will be happy to let you vote curbside.”
On the Democratic ballot, in the race for U. S. House of Representatives, District 11, voters will choose between Phillip G. Price, Steve Woodsmall, and D. Scott Donaldson; in the race for Swain County Board of Commissioners Chair, voters will choose between Ben Bushyhead and Phil Carson; in the race for Swain County Board of Commissioners member, voters will choose two of three between John S. Parton, Danny Burns, and Wayne Dover; and in the race for Clerk of Superior Court, voters will choose between Misti Watson Jones and Deborah Smith.
On the Republican ballot, in the race for U. S. House of Representatives, District 11, voters will choose between Mark Meadows and Chuck Archerd; and in the race for Swain County Board of Commissioners member, voters will choose two of three between Vance Greene III, Kevin Seagle, and Holly Bowick.
The primary elections will be held on Tuesday, May 8. Polls will open at 6:30 a.m. and will close at 7:30 p.m. Polling places for the primaries are: Alarka – Alarka Fire Department, 3601 Alarka Road; Almond – Southwestern Community College Building, 60 Almond School Road; BC1- Bryson City Federal Building, 50 Main Street; BC2 – Swain County Courthouse, 101 Mitchell Street; and WHCH – Whittier Cherokee, Birdtown Rec Center, 1212 Birdtown Road.
In other election news, the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement is scheduled to hear an appeal brought by Jerry Lowery regarding the decision of the Swain County Board of Elections to dismiss his challenge against Curtis Cochran, who is running for a third term as Swain County Sheriff.
The original protest filed by Lowery on Feb.24 in Swain County, claimed that Cochran was ineligible to run for Sheriff alleging he received a dishonorable discharge from the military and “is considered under federal and state statute a felon.”
Lowery’s argument in the appeal centers on legislation that sets the burden of proof on the candidate. According to the appeal, Cochran did not prove he was not dishonorably discharged from the military, and the Swain County BOE inappropriately demanded Lowery show proof that Cochran is a felon.
The Swain County Board of Elections unanimously dismissed the challenge against Cochran at a hearing on April 9.