Washed out democracy? Not in Kinston

Washed out democracy? Not in Kinston

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Elections volunteer Michael Kinsey (Photo: Nelle Dunlap)

washedout-50Matthew Young had six inches of water in his garage and two inches in his house during Hurricane Matthew, but he didn’t let it stop him from turning out for early voting in Kinston on Thursday.

“I know there are people who aren’t even thinking about the election because they’re trying to save their property, save their pets, save their jobs,” he said. “So I imagine the flooding will have some effect (on early voting), but it’s one of those things you make time for.”

It was a sunny day Thursday in Kinston, where most of the flood waters were receded and roads for the most part were clear. Voters came out in droves to cast their ballot at Tanglewood Church on Rouse Road.

“People are coming from all parts of the area,” said Michael Kinsey, an elections volunteer.

Turnout, he said, did not seem to be affected at all by flooding.

Lenoir County Board of Elections reported 1,514 ballots cast on the first day of early voting – 574 were from the Tanglewood location. Numbers from 2012 were not immediately available to compare.

Pearl Grant, of Kinston, was one of the voters there. She said she

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(Photo: Nelle Dunlap)

wanted to get voting over with as soon as possible.

“I’m just doing my duty as a citizen of the United States of America,” she said. “I just pray that the Lord puts the right person in and the country is blessed by it.”

A lot of people at the church were there to cast their ballots early so they didn’t have to think about the election anymore.

“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today,” said Edna Dixon-Lawson, also of Kinston. “I want to think that the flooding is not affecting people because I was blessed, but I know that’s not necessarily the case. But if the desire is great enough, they’ll get here, and there are a lot of helping hands around here.”

She said she would even be willing to help get people to the polls during her free time.

“We really should exercise our right to vote,” she added. “Times are critical, and we need to help make a difference for the better.”