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Early voting begins Wednesday in 2 Bladen races, 9th District Republican primary

RALEIGH – One-Stop, in-person early voting begins Wednesday in the Republican primary election for the 9th Congressional District, which includes all or parts of eight counties – Anson, Bladen, Cumberland, Mecklenburg, Richmond, Robeson,Scotland and Union, the N.C. State Board of Elections announced Tuesday.

In Bladen County, the State Board also ordered new general elections for Commissioner District 3 and Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor.

Early voting for the three contests will be held at the Bladen County Board of Elections office at 301 South Cypress Street in Elizabethtown. The poll will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday through May 10. There is no voting on Saturday nor Sunday. The general election is May 14.

The State Board offered the following information for Bladen County voters:

• Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District: All registered voters. The three candidates on the ballot are Tim Gause, Charles Wendell Gillespie and Earl Storms. Voters may vote for two.

• Bladen County Commissioner District 3: Regardless of party affiliation, all registered voters who live in District 3 are eligible to vote because it is a general election. The race is between Democrat incumbent Russell Priest and Republican Wayne Edge.

• 9th Congressional District primary: Only voters registered as Republican or unaffiliated who live in the 9th Congressional District are eligible to vote. Voters registered with the Democratic, Libertarian, Green or Constitution parties are not eligible to vote in the Republican primary. The 10 candidates on the ballot are Stevie Rivenbark Hull, Matthew Ridenhour, Stony Rushing, Fern Shubert, Albert Lee Wiley Jr., Chris Anglin, Dan Bishop, Leigh Thomas Brown, Kathie C. Day and Gary Dunn.

• 7th Congressional District voters: Some Bladen County voters live in the 7th Congressional District and are not eligible to vote in the 9th Congressional District contest regardless of party affiliation.

The State Board encourages all voters to check their registration information, including their eligible jurisdictions, view their sample ballot and check the status of a mail-in absentee ballot.

If a second primary, or “runoff,” is necessary in the 9th Congressional District, it will be held Sept. 10, with the general election on Nov. 5. If a second primary is not necessary, the general election will be Sept. 10.

If no Congressional candidate receives more than 30 percent of the votes in the primary, the candidate who receives the second-highest number of votes may demand a second primary. The top two vote-getters would be on the ballot for the second primary.

The special election was called on Feb. 21 when the State Board of Elections unanimously ordered a new vote in the three races after a four-day evidentiary hearing showed a “coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme” operated during the 2018 general election in Bladen and Robeson counties.

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