Ocracoke’s polling place is in the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department.

To determine your registration status. use the North Carolina Board of Elections’ Voter Search portal.

Questions regarding voting on Ocracoke, contact the Hyde County Elections Office, 1223 Main St. Swan Quarter, NC 27885.
Mailing address: PO Box 152 Swan Quarter, NC 27885
Phone: 252-926-4194; Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

By Peter Vankevich

Early voting for the North Carolina May 17 primary is underway and on Ocracoke it will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6, in the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, 822 Irvin Garrish Hwy.

The results for contested elections within each political party will determine the final Democrat and Republican candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 8 general election.

The highest number of candidates for both parties is for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Richard Burr (R). The Republican ballot will have 17 candidates and the Democrats will have 11.

To become a party’s nominee, a candidate must win by at least 30% of the vote plus one. If no candidate reaches that number, a second primary will be held on July 26. 

For newly redrawn U.S. House District 3, which covers Ocracoke and currently is held by Greg Murphy (R-Greenville), two Democrats will square off and four Republicans will challenge Murphy.

Several judicial seats will also be on the ballot.

Since there are no contested seats within the political parties for the Hyde County Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education, these seats will not be listed on the ballots.

No Democrat will be on the May or November ballots for the two N.C. General Assembly seats that represent Ocracoke since none filed to run.

Registered voters affiliated with a political party will be given a ballot of candidates for their party. Unaffiliated voters may choose the ballot of candidates for any party primary.

Every 10 years, redistricting maps are drawn up and approved by the N.C. General Assembly both congressional and state legislative districts.  The political party that controls the legislature redraws the districts. This process is subject to litigation and accusations of gerrymandering by whichever political power is not in power. 

Here are the changes impacting locally.

Current General Assembly representatives, House representative Bobby Hanig (R-Powells Point) and Senator Bob Steinburg (R-Chowan) will serve out their terms until the end of the year representing Ocracoke.

Hanig’s Currituck County was moved into the newly redrawn District 1. He opted to run for the State Senate District 3 and is unopposed in the primary.

For Senate District 1, Steinburg will run against its Norman Sanderson (R-Craven). Sanderson is currently the state senator for District 2 and had his residence shifted to District 1. He has represented District 2 since 2012.

Ocracoke has been taken out of House District 6 and placed into District 79. The newly drawn district groups Hyde County with Beaufort and Pamlico counties and a portion of Dare County. It is currently held by Keith Kidwell (R-Chocowinity) who is running for re-election

For the revised state senate district 1, Ocracoke will be grouped with Carteret, Chowan, Halifax, Martin, Pamlico, Warren and Washington counties.

The redrawn boundary for U.S. House District 3 covers the Outer Banks and the counties adjacent to the Pamlico Sound, including Duplin and Sampson Counties and part of Wayne County while removing Chowan, Greene, Pasquotank, Perquimans and Tyrrell Counties. The current representative is Greg Murphy (R-Greenville), also seeking reelection.

Although North Carolina is considered a purple state, i.e., a state whose electorate votes are roughly equal for Republican and Democratic candidates in statewide elections, it is not so much in many localities.

The number of uncontested state legislative districts in North Carolina grew from 14 in 2020 to 51 this year, driven by a drop in Democratic challengers. In 2020, Democrats ran in 166 of the state’s 170 districts, and Republicans ran in 160.

This election year, of the 170 North Carolina voting districts, 41 of them will not have a Democrat candidate on the ballot and only 10 will not have a Republican candidate.

Here are to two sample ballots.

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