Voter's guide to North Carolina primaries - WSMV Channel 4

Voter's guide to North Carolina primaries

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Voting takes place across North Carolina with Tuesday’s primaries. Here’s a guide to what you need to know as you head to the polls:

Polling times: Polls open across the state at 6:30 a.m. and are open until 7:30 p.m.

Photo ID: Under a new law, photo identifications are not required until 2016. Election officials will ask if voters have an acceptable form of photo ID, but they won’t be required until January 2016.

Polling sites: Changes to election law effective this year require voters to appear at their proper polling location or risk disqualification of their entire ballot.

You can look up your polling site here:

Early voting impact: Early voting changed this year, going down in days from 17 to 10. But a State Board of Elections spokesman said there was only a 1.2 percent decrease in voting hours across the state from the 2010 primary.

Early voting ended Saturday, with 259,590 votes cast. More registered voters participated this year (3.98 percent) than in 2010 (2.83 percent).

The early voting for the primary was heavily Democratic – in fact, 47.8 percent of the early votes cast were by Democrats, with 33.3 percent by Republicans and 18.8 percent unaffiliated.

In the 2012 primary, 45.5 percent of the votes came from Democrats, with 33.8 percent by Republicans and 20.5 percent unaffiliated.

North Carolina breakdown: There are 2,755,000 registered Democrats and 1,995,870 Republicans in North Carolina as of May 3.

Key Senate race: The Republican primary for the U.S. Senate will be fascinating, with House Speaker Thom Tillis trying to get 40 percent of the vote Tuesday to avoid a runoff. Dr. Greg Brannon and Pastor Mark Harris have been closing Tillis’ lead In recent weeks. The Republican nominee will face incumbent Kay Hagan, a Democrat.

Congressional races: Republicans hold nine of North Carolina’s 13 House seats. One interesting race is in District 2, where American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken and Keith Crisco are battling for the Democratic nomination. The winner faces Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in the fall. While the Democratic primary has received a great deal of attention because of Aiken’s run, the district is heavily Republican. Ellmers is considered a rising star by Republicans and they gave her a safe district when they realigned.

Other race of note: Robin Hudson, a North Carolina Supreme Court associate justice, is running for re-election against Eric Levinson of Charlotte and Jeanette Doran of the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law. The race has gained attention because of an attack ad saying Hudson made a running in favor of child predators, which Hudson has called outrageous.

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