With early voting over, turnout is very light ahead of Charlotte's Election Day
Fewer than 8,500 people have cast ballots during early voting ahead of Election Day for Tuesday’s primary for Charlotte City Council and mayor.
That’s about 1.5% of registered voters in the city.
One reason for the low turnout is that Republicans had no opportunity to vote, since there were no contested races between GOP candidates. This election is the first since the city went to partisan elections in 1975 that no Republican ran for a citywide at-large seat.
Voters will choose the Democratic nominees for mayor, four at-large seats and four districts.
There are two highly contested races.
One is for City Council District 3 in southwest Charlotte, where Tiawana Brown, Warren Turner and Melinda Lilly are trying to win an open seat that’s currently held by Victoria Watlington. She is running for an at-large seat.
The other is for District 4 in northeast Charlotte, where Mayor Vi Lyles made her first-ever endorsement in a city race, backing challenger Wil Russell. Lyles is trying to unseat incumbent Renee Johnson, a fellow Democrat. Olivia Scott is also in the race.
The city primary in 2022 was held on the same day as the North Carolina primary for the U.S. Senate race. The city primary in 2019 was held on the same day as a special election for U.S. Congress in the 9th District between Democrat Dan McCready and Republican Dan Bishop.
That boosted turnout.
The last Charlotte primary in which there were no other races on the ballot was in 2017. That year, nearly 13,000 people voted early.
Even with Republicans locked out of the primary this year, Tuesday’s election will likely see more voters than the 2011 city primary when less than 3% of registered voters cast ballots.