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Early Voting for 2016 Primary Election Begins March 3

Vote!(February 26, 2016) The 2016 Primary Election in North Carolina will be on March 15 at each precinct's voting location. Early voting starts Thursday, March 3 and extends through Saturday, March 12 at the Steele Creek Library (13620 Steele Creek Road) and 16 other sites. Hours at the Steele Creek Library are

              Weekdays - 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
              Saturday, March 5 and 12 - 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
              Sunday, March 6 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Absentee ballots currently are available. Go to Mecklenburg County Board of Elections for more information.

The 2016 Primary is two months earlier than during previous presidential election years, Although there are numerous presidential candidates in the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian ballots, many of these will have dropped out by the time of the primary.

In addition to presidential candidates, the 2016 election will include contests for United States Senate and House of Representatives, North Carolina Governor and other Council of State offices, North Carolina Senate and House, Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners, Register of Deeds, Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors, North Carolina Supreme Court justices, North Carolina Court of Appeals judges, and District Court Judges. Not all races will have candidates on the primary ballot.

To see your sample ballot, visit Mecklenburg County Board of Elections. For lists of candidates in districts that extend into Steele Creek and maps of district boundaries, see Candidates Set for 2016 State and Local Elections (12/22/15).

Kristin Mavromatis, Public Information Manager with the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, spoke at the Steele Creek Residents Association Annual Meeting on February 25. She told the audience to remember three main things:

1. Vote the Full Ballot - Boundaries for United States Congressional districts currently are under litigation. The North Carolina General Assembly adopted new boundaries on Friday, February 19 that placed all of Steele Creek in new District 12. The new districts still have to be approved by the US Courts. If the new districts are approved, candidates will need to file in them beginning March 16. Unless the current districts are retained (which seems unlikely) there will be no official congressional candidates in North Carolina before March 16.

Regardless, Ms. Mavromatis said that everyone should vote the full ballot, and the elections office will determine which votes to count. If the current congressional district boundaries are ruled invalid, the results in the March 15 primary will not be public records and will not be revealed. A new primary for United State Congress will be held on June 7.

Regardless of what congressional district boundaries will be used for the 2016 elections, the current districts are still the legal districts until current terms expire in 2017.

2. Register to Vote - Standard registration ends 25 days before an election, which was February 19. However, voters may register or update their registration during Early Voting. (The North Carolina General Assembly abolished voter registration during Early Voting, Same Day Registration is being allowed during the primary under court ruling--but not on the Primary Election Day.)

3. Bring a Photo ID - Bring a drivers license or other acceptable ID when you vote. The address on the ID does not need to be the same as the voter's current address. The name on the ID does not need to be the voter's current name, but it needs to be reasonably similar. The photograph on the ID must bear a "reasonable resemblance" to the voter. If there are any inconsistencies between the ID and the current situation, the voter should bring additional ID to help convince the election official that the voter is the same person as the one on the ID. Even a credit card could be used to support confirmation, she said.

Several other forms of ID in addition to a drivers license are acceptable, but all of these have exceptions--although too numerous for Ms. Mavromatis to go into.

She said that various aspects of the election are under litigation, and court rulings could change certain aspects of the election. She recommended that voters check the Board of Elections web site for updates.

The For more information on the 2016 primary, see to Mecklenburg County Board of Elections or North Carolina State Board of Elections web sites.

To comment on this story, please visit the Steele Creek Forum.

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