Second primary vote is vital

Voting is a powerful way of letting your voice be heard.

We said it back in May during the primary election and we must reiterate it today, two days into the second early voting period for the Sampson County Clerk of Court race.

The powerful tool often referred to as casting a ballot is the reason we have moved into a second primary, with two Republicans, Chris Driver and Chris Fann, vying for the opportunity to run against the Democratic candidate in November’s election.

Fann and Driver were the top vote-getters on the Republican ticket in the May 8 primary, with Fann tallying 29.1 percent of the vote (1,001 votes) and Driver garnering 28.1 percent (967 votes). N.C. law awards the office to the top vote-getter as long as they get more than 30 percent of the total vote, a “substantial plurality” that was not achieved in this case.

The second primary will work just as the first did, with all precincts open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on June 26.

While the primary is set for Tuesday, June 26, one-stop voting kicked off Thursday.

That period will extend from Thursday, June 7, to Saturday, June 23. As usual, the one-stop will be held during regular weekday hours — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday — at the Board of Elections Office, as well as from 10 a.m. to 1 pm. the final Saturday, June 23. Absentee by mail will be an option under the same guidelines as before, and will be mailed as soon as they are available. The last day to request the ballot by mail will be June 19 by 5 p.m.

To Fann and Driver, choosing to vote in this second primary truly matters. It matters to us as well, understanding that the vote you cast — or perhaps more importantly the one you don’t — will help shape the future of this county.

That’s true of every election, including primaries and runoffs, off-year elections and, quite naturally, the presidential race.

Second primaries are notorious for having very low turnouts. Low turnouts, though, mean a few will be making the choices for all those who can vote in the Republican primary.

We urge voters not to let that happen. We urge voters to be active participants, to carry out their civic duty.

There really isn’t a time when casting a ballot isn’t the right thing to do.

Allowing your voice to be heard is an American right that should be exercised. While we don’t advocate worshipping our freedoms, we strongly urge using them and doing so in a manner that shows you truly understand the significance of the choices you are making.

Sure it eats into a little of our precious time, but it’s worth every second it takes to go to the Board of Elections, 120 County Complex Road, Suite 110, Clinton between now and June 19, or to one of the county’s polling places come June 26 to cast that ballot.

Please take the time.