ELIZABETHTOWN — Early voting for the municipal elections has been underway for more than a week and, as of Wednesday morning, 242 ballots had been cast at the One Stop voting site at the Bladen County Public Library and 26 mail absentee ballots had been received, according to Bladen County Board of Elections Deputy Director Marsha White.
White said all of the mail-in absentee ballots have to either be postmarked no later than Tuesday, Nov. 3, or must be hand delivered to the Board of Elections office no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 3.
“It’s average for a municipal election,” said White of the voter turnout thus far.
Three Bladen County have chosen to opt out of the One Stop and mail absentee voting — East Arcadia, Tar Heel and Dublin.
“They have to opt out of both because all of them are considered absentee voting,” said Bladen County Board of Elections Director Cynthia Shaw.
She said the towns opted out as a cost saving measure. She said the towns stand to save about $930 each per municipal election.
On Tuesday, the municipal election will offer voting between 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the following locations:
— Bethel will vote at the Lions Club Building in Dublin located at 120 Second St.;
— Bladenboro will vote at the Bladenboro Historical Building located at 818 S. Main St.;
— Brown Marsh will vote at the town hall located at 81 N. Elm St., Clarkton;
— Carvers Creek will vote at the East Arcadia Town Hall located at 1516 East Arcadia Road, Riegelwood;
— Colly will vote at the White Lake Fire Department located at 1879 White Lake Drive, White Lake;
— Elizabethtown No. 1 will vote at the Bladen County Parks and Recreation Department Gym located at 803 West King St.;
— Elizabethtown No. 2 will at the Powell-Melvin Agricultural Building located on Smith Circle;
— Hollow will vote at the municipal building in Tar Heel located at 14867 N.C. Hwy. 87 West.
The towns with contested races are:
— In Bladenboro, there are three town commissioners’ seats available along with one unexpired term. Incumbent Town Commissioners Patsi Callihan, Everett Butler and Sarah Jane Benson have all filed seeking re-election. They are joined by newcomers Larry Hayes and Gene Norton, who have filed seeking election to one of the four-year terms, and newcomers Cris Harrelson and Don White have filed seeking election to the unexpired Bladenboro town commissioner seat.
— In Clarkton, the mayor’s seat and one town commissioner seat is available. Incumbent Town Commissioner Lawrence McDouglad filed for re-election to his seat and will face a challenge from newcomer Jimmy Hudson Jr.
— In Dublin, there are two town commissioners seats available. Incumbent town commissioners David Kirby and T. David Hursey have filed seeking re-election. They will be joined by newcomer Robert Johnson Britt.
— In Elizabethtown, there are three town council seats available. Incumbent councilmen Ricky Leinwand, Dicky Glenn and Darrell Page have filed seeking re-election. They will be joined by newcomer Howell Clark, who will be seeking election to one of the three available seats.
— In White Lake there are three town commissioners seats available. Incumbent town commissioners Tom Riel, Don Smith and Tracey Scott Trivette have filed seeking re-election to their seats. They are joined by newcomer Tim Clifton, who is also seeking election to one of the three town commissioner’s seats.
Erin Smith can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.