Reece Gardner: Start voting today
My column today runs the risk of being a little too wordy, but please stay with me.
The 2018 Election officially gets underway today, from 7:00 am to 7 pm, at the following sites: Tanglewood Church of God (2103 Rouse Rd., Kinston), Jackson Heights Church (285 Camellia St., Kinston), LaGrange Community Bldg. (410 E. Washington St., LaGrange), Pink Hill Rescue (305 S. Central Ave., Pink Hill), Carver Ct. Rec. Rm. (301 E. Bright St. (Kinston), and Teachers Memorial School Gym (500 Marcella Dr., Kinston).
These "Early One-Stop" Sites will be open every day (except Sundays) through Saturday, Nov. 3. Hours (7:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, except for Saturday, Nov. 3, with hours from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.)
Polls for the General Election will then open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Contested races include: NC State Senate (Incumbent Sen. Louis Pate, Republican, vs. David Brantley, Democrat); NC House of Representatives (Incumbent George Graham, Democrat, vs. Chris Humphrey, Republican); Clerk of Superior Court (Incumbent Dawn G. Stroud, Republican, vs. Brooketah C. Banks, Democrat); in District 4, there is a Lenoir County Commissioners Race between incumbent Preston Harris (Democrat) and Giles Stroud (Republican). These, plus the Nonpartisan race for Soil & Water Conservation being waged by Greg Rouse, Chris Smith, & Keith Tyson.
These positions are all very important, and it is incumbent upon each of us to let our voices be heard. With all the available dates and times available to us, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for us not to avail ourselves of this precious right, a right that many people in many other parts of the world would give just about anything and everything to have.
Now, in addition to the contests outlined above, we also have some very important judicial races on the ballot, with the party affiliation of each candidate listed. First, the NC Supreme Court: Incumbent Barbara Jackson, Republican, is being challenged by Anita Earls, Democrat, and Chris Anglin, who recently switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
There are some who speculate that Anglin made this move in order to split the Republican vote between Justice Jackson and himself. Races for NC Court of Appeals, Seat 1: Republican Andrew Heath vs Democrat John Arrowood; Seat 2: Republican Jefferson Griffin vs. Democrat Toby Hampson and Republican (?) Sandra Ray; Seat 3: Republican Chuck Kitchen vs Libertarian Michael Monaco and Democrat Allegra Collins. In these races, Conservative voters will probably choose Justice Barbara Jackson and Appeals Court candidates Andrew Heath, Jefferson Griffin, and Chuck Kitchen.
There is another very important measure on the ballot, which is the Lenoir County Sales Tax measure calling for a one-quarter percent (0.25%) Sales Tax addition. It is noteworthy that this measure received a unanimous vote of approval from the Board of County Commissioners and its approval by the voters will result in some DECREASES to property taxes. Also very important on our ballot this year are six Constitutional Amendments, each of which voters will have the option of voting for or against.
We have talked briefly about these in past columns and we will talk more extensively about them in our column next week. Now, some parting thoughts: (1) We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone; (2) Scientists created several six-legged turkeys for families who fight over the drum sticks. But the turkeys escaped and no one can catch them; (3) Never get into a fight with mean and ugly people. They don't have a lot to lose.
HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!