Early voting for Elkin’s municipal elections started on Friday.
Unlike 2012 that saw an early voting station based at the Elkin Rescue Squad, an early vote for the 2013 race for Elkin’s Board of Commissioner positions will require a trip to Dobson.
According to the Surry County Board of Elections, Elkin did not establish an early voting station for its residents this year. That means that voters must head to the county office located at 201 E. Kapp St. if they seek to cast a vote ahead of the Nov. 5 general election.
When asked why the county doesn’t routinely provide early voting locations throughout Surry County, its officials said it’s not up to the county.
“That decision is left up to the town. They have to reimburse the county for all costs associated with the municipal election. A satellite ‘early’ voting center can be very costly when compared with the number of voters using it,” said Susan Jarrell, director of the Surry County Board of Elections.
“The estimate for Mount Airy’s early voting site for this October’s municipal primary is around $1,800. With only 111 voters casting their ballot early at the site, the cost is approximately $16 per voter,” said Jarrell.
Last year, a OneStop center was established by the county and placed at the Elkin Rescue Squad.
However, with no county race on the ballot, officials said the undisclosed cost to Elkin was too much for the town to absorb.
“We did participate a couple of years ago. I don’t recall the cost or turnout, but it was not very good,” said Lloyd Payne, Elkin’s town manager.
According to the State Board of Elections, early voting is more effective if voters have a reason to get to the polls.
“In a presidential year, you’ll get more people who want to exercise their vote,” said a representative from BOE.
Last year, thousands of voters participated throughout Surry County in early voting, according to records.
This year, six candidates are competing for three positions on Elkin’s Board of Commissioners on Election Day.
The candidates are: Cicely McCulloch, Terry Kennedy, Jeffrey C. Eidson, James Ipock, Bob Norton and Charles Bellia.
According to election officials, Mount Airy has a municipal election and opted to establish a OneStop location that will open on Oct. 30.
Election Day is on Nov. 5.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.