Municipal elections set for Nov. 3

Polling locations across the county will open at 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 to allow voters to pick their next municipal leaders.

In King, incumbent Jack Warren is running unopposed for mayor. Incumbent council members Dillard Burnette and Brian Carico will face challengers Thomas Enterline and Rick McGraw in the race for two council seats.

In Danbury, voters will see some familiar names on the ballot as incumbent Janet Whitt is running unopposed for mayor and incumbent council members Gary East and Steve Shelton are running unopposed for two council seats.

The most contested race will be in Walnut Cove this year.

Mayor Lynn Lewis is running unopposed for reelection as mayor, but the race for the two Board of Commissioners seats boasts six candidates, including two incumbents.

Kim Lewis and Elwood Mabe will be fighting to win reelection against challengers Charles Mitchell, Charles Byron, Danny Hairston and Sandra Hazelwood.

Walnut Cove will also have mixed beverage referendum on their ballot this year, after the owner of a local Mexican restaurant requested the town commissioners place the issue on the ballot.

“I have owned and operated my business here in Walnut Cove for the past eight years,” El Cabo owner Keelan Jones told the council in July. “Right now I employ about 20 people. By allowing liquor by the drink to be voted in I would like to see an increase in my business and maybe put in an outdoor patio area.”

A similar referendum, asking to permit the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs and convention centers, failed on a 210 to 103 vote in 2007.

This year the ballot in Walnut Cove will ask voters to vote yes or no “To permit the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theatres, and convention centers.”

Of the three municipal elections in Stokes County, King is the only municipality with a resolution to permit absentees (mail-in and one-stop early voting).

“One-stop early voting for the King contests will be here at the office in Danbury beginning is available through Saturday, Oct. 31 (8:30 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays, 8:30 to 1:00 PM on the 31st),” said Stokes County Board of Elections Director Jason Perry. “On Election Day, the polls in each municipality will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.”

Perry said that some precincts have been combined for this election.

“All voters in the Town of Walnut Cove, including those that are in East Walnut Cove precinct, will go to the Walnut Cove Fire Dept. to vote,” he said. “Those voters who live in Chestnut Grove precinct and also live in the City of King will go to the American Legion Building. Impacted voters will receive a notice by mail. Also, as this is a temporary transfer, these voters will go to their traditional polling places for the elections in 2016 (i.e. East Walnut Cove precinct voters will return to Southeastern Middle School).”

Eligible municipal voters who live in West Walnut Cove precinct (Walnut Cove Fire Dept.), West King precinct (American Legion Building), or East King precinct (Poplar Springs Church Youth House) will vote at the same location and will not receive a notice, according to Perry.

“There are approximately 350 City of King voters who reside in Forsyth County,” he added. “In the past, these voters have come to Stokes County if they wanted to participate in the municipal election. This year they will vote in Forsyth County. If they want to vote early, they’ll go to the Forsyth County Board of Elections office in downtown Winston-Salem. If voting by mail, they’ll send the aforementioned request form to the Forsyth office. On Election Day, they will go to the Tobaccoville Community Center. The Forsyth elections office will send these voters a notice.”

Finally, East King precinct’s polling place has moved within the Poplar Springs Church of Christ complex.

“Voting previously took place at the Family Life Center; it will now occur at the Youth House,” said Perry. “Voters should take the main entrance to the church off of HWY 66 and stay straight. The Youth House is past the Family Life Center and is the last building on the right, towards the back of the complex. ‘Vote Here’ and other signs will be displayed to guide voters. This will take effect this November and is a long-term change.”

Perry added that voters will be asked if they have access to a photo ID that will be required to vote in the 2016 elections, but said no ID would be required to vote int he municipal elections this year.

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