LUMBERTON — Berlester Campbell on Tuesday picked up 16 of 25 provisional votes, upping his District 2 victory over incumbent Robeson County Commissioner Hubert Sealey.
After canvassing of votes was completed, Campbell had 842, or 56.51 percent, of the 1,495 ballots cast. Sealey mustered 648, or 43.49 percent, of the total votes.
Campbell’s victory in the Democratic Primary run-off election puts him back in the seat that he lost in a close race to Sealey in 2002. There is no Republican on the ballot for District 2 in the November General Election, so Campbell will take his seat on the board in December.
Steve Stone, chairman of Robeson County’s Board of Rlections, said that anyone wishing to make challenges to the election process must do so by noon today.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the two members of the three-member board present — Stone, a Republican, and Tiffany Peguise-Powers, the board’s secretary and a Democrat — discussed possible early voting polling sites to be used in the November General Election. No action on the selection of sites could be made because state law requires a unanimous board decision. Board member Daniel Locklear, a Republican, was not present.
According to Stone, all three board members have tentatively agreed that polling sites should include the Board of Elections office in Lumberton; the senior citizens center in Fairmont; and the public library in Pembroke. Consideration is being given to opening one additional satellite polling site in either Maxton, St. Pauls or Red Springs.
“I’m in favor of St. Pauls, and I’ve asked four or five times to have a (early voting) poll opened there,” said Stone, a veteran member of the board. “It’s never happened.”
Powers leaned toward a polling site in Red Springs. She said such a location would provide easier access for voters coming from both the Maxton and St. Pauls areas.
“The point of early voting is to make it more convenient for voters,” she said. “I’d like to hear more from the citizens. I represent the whole county.”
The possibility of early voting on Sunday was also discussed. Stone said he would support Sunday voting if just the poll in Lumberton is open. He said from his observations of previous Sunday voting, those casting ballots on Sunday would do so on another day if polls were not open on Sunday.
Stone also expressed his concern that opening more than one polling site on a Sunday would “open the doors for errors” in the voting process because a satellite poll would be operated by volunteers and not regular staff from the Elections Board.
Stone said that the board will meet again soon to hammer out a decision on where the polling sites will be located.
“We have to make a decision within the next two weeks,” he said.