Political signs

ROBERT C. REED/HICKORY DAILY RECORD: Political signs stand in the median area of Eighth Avenue NE as Hickory mowing crews mow the grass.

The Hickory primary is a little more than a month away, but people who want to vote on primary day have an important deadline coming up this week.

People wishing to vote in the Oct. 8 primary must be registered by Sept. 13.

Residents can check their registration status by going to the Catawba County Board of Elections website, which can be accessed by an internet search for "Catawba County Board of Elections."

Below are the answers to some of the key questions regarding voter registration and the upcoming Hickory primary. For additional information, call the Catawba County Board of Elections at 828-464- 2424 or visit their website.

What are the rules for registering?

The Catawba County Board of Elections must receive registration forms by 5 p.m. on Sept. 13 for a person to be registered in the primary.

Registration forms that are mailed and postmarked by the deadline may also be accepted, according to the State Board of Elections website.

Where can I find registration forms?

Registration forms are available at many locations, including the Catawba County board office at 25 Government Drive in Newton, as well as public libraries, public high schools and college admission offices, according to the state board.

The form can also be downloaded online at the county board’s website.  Certain government agencies like the Division of Motor Vehicles also offer voter registration forms.

What if I’m not registered in time?

You will still have a chance to vote by taking advantage of same-day registration during early voting.

During the early voting period for the primary, which runs from Sept. 18 to Oct. 4 at Highland Recreation Center, residents will be able to register at the polling place.

Proof of residence is required for same-day registration.

Residence can be established by presenting a valid photo ID or copies of various types of documents containing a person’s address including utility bills, paychecks, bank documents or other government documents.

Will I need to show an ID to vote?

No, not this year. Voter ID requirements go into effect for the 2020 elections.

What is the Hickory primary?

The city of Hickory holds primaries for local elections when more than two candidates seek election to one seat.

This year, there are three candidates running in all three races on the ballot. The Hickory City Council seats for Wards 1, 2 and 3 are all up for election this year.

The Hickory primary is non-partisan. The top two vote-getters in each race will go on to compete in the general election.

Who can vote in the Hickory primary?

Voting in the ward primaries is restricted to people living within the ward where the race is taking place. For example, only Ward 1 residents are allowed to vote in the Ward 1 primary.

Residents can find out what ward they live in by going to the county board website. 

That will change in the Nov. 5 general election, in which all registered Hickory residents will be able to vote in all three council races.

Who is running for office?

There are nine candidates in the three Hickory council races.

City Councilman Brad Lail declined to run for another term from Ward 1. Tony Wood, Carmen Eckard and Dustin Strickland are all competing for the seat.

In Ward 2, Councilwoman Charlotte Williams is facing challengers Ernie Masche and Lou Wetmore.

Ward 3 Councilman Danny Seaver is running against Daria Jackson and Nathan Hefner.

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Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.

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