North Carolina is holding its second primary today. Polls will be open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. To be eligible to vote, you must either be a registered Republican or an unaffiliated voter who either did not vote in the March 5th primary election or voted the Republican ballot in the primary.

According to Karen Brinson Bell, executive director for the North Carolina State Election Board (NCSBE), some election day voting sites have been consolidated for the second primary. She said during a call with the media on Monday that voters can confirm the location of their polling place through the voter search tool.

Voters also need to show a form of acceptable ID.

Absentee voters must drop off their ballots to their county election board by 7:30 pm. They can also discard their absentee ballot and vote in person.

After the election, there will be a 10-day canvas. County boards of elections in all 100 counties count the remaining absentee ballots, research and count provisional ballots, audit the results, and conduct any necessary recounts.

Secondary primaries tend to have low turnout numbers and this year is no exception. Brinson Bell said that, as of Monday, early voting turnout was at 0.7% among registered Republican or unaffiliated voters.

Republican nominations for lieutenant governor and state auditor are on the ballot statewide.

The top vote-getters in those races in the March 5 primary failed to secure the required 30% of the vote, the threshold to avoid a runoff election. 

In CD-13, Kelly Daughtry pulled out of the race against Brad Knott on May 2. If he receives the most votes and Daughtry doesn’t reenter the race, Knott will face Democratic nominee Frank Pierce in the general election to represent the district in the US House.

Hal Weatherman received 19.59% (181,818 votes) for lieutenant governor in the March primary, followed by Jim O’Neill with 15.84% (147,042 votes) among a large primary field of 10 candidates.

Weatherman served as chief of staff for former Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest and former US Rep. Sue Myrick and was also a campaign manager. He told Carolina Journal in March that his campaign is a testament to the power of grassroots campaigning.

He also told CJ in a video interview that if he is elected, not only will he have an office in Raleigh and preside over the state senate, he is going to stay on the road.

“I’m gonna stay on the road and keep my ear to the ground and be accessible to the people that I represent,” he said. “I want them to always be able to reach me. I want them to know me.”

He also said he wants to remove the stigma from the trades and retool the state’s apprenticeship program.  

O’Neill is serving his fourth term as district attorney for Forsyth County, previously serving as assistant DA. In 2020, he ran as the Republican nominee for state attorney general, challenging Attorney General Josh Stein, the 2024 Democratic nominee for governor.

He told Carolina Journal in a video interview that he is a strong proponent of law enforcement and wants to give them a voice at the statewide level. He also supports teachers and said it’s really important that teachers and students feel safe in the classroom. 

He also touted a program he started in Forsyth County in 2018. The Susan Frye District Attorney Treatment Alternative Program assists individuals struggling with an addiction to heroin, opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol with intensive treatment with services to aid individuals struggling with addictions that drove their criminal activity. Individuals who successfully complete the program may receive a reduction or dismissal of their criminal charges.

O’Neill said he has a track record that speaks for itself.

“You look at the two candidates in this race, and you compare their two records of accomplishments,” he told CJ. “I’m someone with a track record of fixing things, of protecting people, and standing up for people, and my opponent has spent a career going from political campaigns and working to political campaigns, and I don’t think there’s anything about that that makes him qualified to come in and serve as lieutenant governor for North Carolina.”

The winner will face Sen. Rachel Hunt, the democratic nominee.  The general election winner in November will replace current Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is the Republican candidate for governor.

In the race for state auditor, Jack Clark received 23.24% (198,793 votes) compared to Dave Boliek with 22.10% (189,071 votes).

Clark told CJ in a video interview he is the only candidate who is a CPA and has a background in auditing. “Auditing is a very niche role with a very particular skill set and mindset that you need in order to audit right, and I just felt North Carolina deserved to have a choice of someone who had that background,” he said. 

On his first day on the job, Clark said he would do a full analysis and prioritize what needs to be audited. He said those who have a preconceived notion of what needs to be audited first before stepping into the role don’t necessarily have all of the information.

Boliek, a lawyer, told Carolina Journal in a video interview that as a member of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, he was able to address several budget issues, including finding and rectifying a $100 million structural deficit.

If elected, he said he would look at auditing state and county election boards due to what he says is a lot of distrust in the election system in the state, the DMV, and non-government organizations or NGOs for people who are here illegally and receiving taxpayer dollars. 

He called Jessica Holmes the “disappearing auditor.” “I have not seen a thing from her,” he said, and he feels that the Durham School District should have been audited. 

He called for an emergency audit of Durham schools back in February. A payroll error resulted in employees being overpaid from July to December of 2023, as previously reported by the Carolina Journal. 

“I have spent 27 years practicing law, and during that time, I’ve also run businesses,” Boliek told CJ. “I’ve got the maturity to be in the office, to lead the office. I don’t anticipate going into the state auditor’s office with a zip lock bag full of #2 pencils and sitting behind a desk and going through numbers. The elected state auditor ought to go in, evaluate the team, decide what team is necessary, create a culture, build a strategic plan, and leave the organization toward results.”

Boliek said he is a problem solver, having spent several years leading large organizations with large budget numbers, and he understands finance and audits at the detail level. He also created an audit committee at UNC-Chapel Hill.

On the county level, a second primary will also be held for the Republican nomination of the South Point Township District on the Gaston County Board of Commissioners between candidates Jim Bailey and Ronnie Worley. In Orange County, a runoff will take place for a third seat on the Orange County Schools Board of Education, with candidates Jennifer Moore and Bonnie Hauser on the ballot contesting, but Moore resigned from the school board last month.

Bell said at this point it was too late to remove her name from the ballot. 

After the polls close, you can keep up with the latest data with John Locke Foundations’s Vote Tracker.