DOBSON — Surry County residents wanting to get an early start in making their choices for the May 8 primary election can do so beginning Thursday.
That’s when the early voting period gets under way for the primary. This service initially will be offered at the Surry County Board of Elections office in Dobson, before expanding to three satellite stations near the end of April in Mount Airy, Pilot Mountain and Elkin.
In addition to allowing voters to cast ballots ahead of Election Day, a one-stop provision of the early voting cycle allows persons who are not registered to complete that process and also vote at the same time.
Early voting will be available in Dobson this Thursday and Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the county elections office.
It is located at 201 E. Kapp St. on the lower level of the new courthouse.
Early voting also will be conducted there for the same hours during the weeks of April 23-27 and April 30-May 4. On May 5, the Saturday before the election, the service is to be offered from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Surry Director of Elections Susan Jarrell said Monday that early voting in the county has a familiar pattern as far as turnout.
“In the last couple of elections, what we have seen with early voting is we have a lot on that first day and then it will slow down until those satellite stations open,” Jarrell said of the early voting locations in Mount Airy and elsewhere. Those sites also tend to experience similar traffic on the first day.
The turnout for primary elections statewide is “usually very slow,” the elections official mentioned.
However, that trend could be altered for the upcoming primary in Surry due to the presence of hotly contested sheriff, county commissioner and other races.
“I hope we have a lot of people voting early,” Jarrell said, “if they’ve made up their mind on the ballot.”
Those who are registering as well as voting during the period will be required to provide proof of residence.
This can include a North Carolina driver’s license; photo identification from a government agency; or a recent utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other governmental document showing one’s name and present home address.
• Early voting begins in Mount Airy on April 30 at the Surry Resource Center (formerly the Human Services Center) at 1218 State St. off U.S. 601 behind Arby’s, where it has been offered in recent years.
The service will be available from then through May 4 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on May 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Pilot Mountain’s early voting location is The Pilot Center of Surry Community College at 612 E. Main St. The schedule there is 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 30-May 4, and May 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Early voting will be held from April 30-May 4 at The Elkin Center of Surry Community College, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on May 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Elkin Center is at 1461 N. Bridge St.
A qualified voter may cast ballots at any one-stop location.
Voters won’t be able to do so at those sites on Election Day, but must go to their assigned precincts.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.