Early voting turnout is strong, minor technical problems at five precincts

CLAYTON–There was a strong voter turnout Tuesday morning at Johnston County’s largest precinct.

The Flowers Plantation precinct, 29B, has 8,942 registered voters. As of 11 a.m., 482 voters had been to the polls at River Dell Elementary School in Clayton. There have been over 100 voters in line since the polls opened at 6:30 a.m. and parking at the school was scarce.

Johnston County Board of Elections Director Leigh Anne Price said all 36 precincts should have sent her Smithfield office early results by 9 a.m. but as of 1 p.m. only half the county’s precincts had reported.

Price said that a half-dozen precincts had faulty printers which slowed the voter registration process.

“When Flowers Plantation first opened, two of the printers didn’t work,” said Price. “We had to use our emergency poll book until we could get the printers up and running. This caused a delay in registering at these precincts. They couldn’t catch up from the early rush this morning and submit their totals. We’ve send Flowers Plantation an extra computer.”

Based on the vote totals Price has seen, she said it’s been a good turnout for a mid-term election. Price all the polls opened on time at 6:30 a.m. and that the printer issues didn’t keep anyone from voting.

Price said the official absentee and early voting totals would be released at 7:30 p.m. and that she expected all Johnston County returns to be in by 9:30 p.m.

There are 127,709 registered voters in Johnston County. Republicans have the largest group with 48,672 voters, followed by unaffiliated with 39,386. Democrats are third with 38,890 registered voters.

These voting groups are followed by Libertarians,  733; Constitutionalists, 20; and Green Party, 9 registered voters.

Unofficial early voter results indicate 22,853 took advantage of the opportunity, as of Oct. 31. There were 10,289 people that voted at The Church at Clayton Crossing, 6.344 voted at the First Baptist Church of Smithfield’s Ministry Center and 6,220 voted at the Johnston Community College Cleveland Campus.

Unofficially, Price reported 32,598 absentee voters cast ballots. Of those, there were 12,698 Republicans who voted followed by Democrats, 11,698; unaffiliated, 8,082 and 120 Libertarians.

There were 24,071 white voters, blacks, 6,735; 960, undetermined; others, 510; Asians, 133; multi-racial, 120 and 76 American Indians.

During the early voting period, unofficial results indicate there 17,372 females who voted, 14,778, male; and 455 voters were undetermined.

Price said the phones at the board of elections office are “ringing off the hook.”


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