DOBSON — Citizens of Mount Airy who want to get a head start on the 2017 municipal election can begin casting ballots Thursday in Dobson.
That’s when the early voting period — also known as one-stop, no-excuse absentee voting — gets under way at the Surry County Board of Elections, a prelude to Election Day on Nov. 7.
More than 526 people cast early ballots for the most recent city election in 2015.
Citizens can do so Thursday at the Dobson location from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the same schedule in effect for Friday as well as Monday through Friday of next week and the week of Oct. 30-Nov. 3. On Nov. 4, the service will be available from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Surry Board of Elections is located at 201 E. Kapp St., on the lower level of the new county courthouse.
Balloting there will be joined by a four-day early voting period in Mount Airy which will begin on Nov. 1 at the Municipal Building.
Early balloting ends in both Mount Airy and Dobson on Nov. 4, the Saturday before Election Day.
The slate of races includes Mayor David Rowe being challenged by local radio personality and political newcomer Ivy Sheppard, while South Ward Commissioner Steve Yokeley is seeking his third term against Todd Harris.
Harris is a former city board member who served 12 years in Mount Airy’s other South Ward commissioner seat before losing it to Shirley Brinkley in 2011.
North Ward Commissioner Jon Cawley, who was appointed to the board in 2008, is running unopposed, which he also did in both the 2009 and 2013 municipal elections.
In addition to the option of casting a ballot ahead of Election Day, early voting offers a reprieve to citizens who are not registered, and missed a regular registration deadline of Oct. 13 to become eligible to vote on Nov. 7.
The rules for one-stop, no-excuse absentee voting allow someone to both register and cast a ballot at the same time.
But that accommodation will not be available for unregistered persons on Election Day itself.
Mount Airy schedule
The early voting schedule for Nov. 1-3 in the city will be 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.
On Nov. 4, ballots can be cast from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Early voting will occur on the lower level of the Municipal Building at 300 S. Main St.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.