880 vote as of mid-day
More than 800 people had voted for municipal candidates as of 1:45 p.m. on this Election Day, according to the Watauga County Board of Elections Office.
A total of 880 voters had cast ballots in Boone (414), Blowing Rock (323), Beech Mountain (109), Seven Devils (23) and a transfer station (11). In addition, 1,154 people voted during the early voting period that began Oct. 17, elections officials said.
Forty-eight provisional ballots had been cast by 1:45 p.m. -- all at the Boone 2 precinct polling place at Legends on the Appalachian State University campus. Voters are given provisional ballots when their registration status cannot immediately be verified; the local Board of Elections verifies the validity of the ballots during the canvass held after the election.
Only three provisional ballots were cast in the 2011 municipal election, and all three of those were in Beech Mountain.
Elena Everett -- a member of an organization called Vote Defenders monitoring elections in Watauga County on Tuesday -- referred to the number of provisional ballots as "not ideal." She said she had heard from ASU students who said they had registered to vote but were not listed on the voter rolls when they arrived at Legends to vote on Tuesday.
In Blowing Rock, town council candidates made a final push for votes in front of Town Hall during lunchtime on Tuesday. Election officials in Town Hall stated that by noon, 261 people had voted at the precinct and that 105 Blowing Rock voters had taken advantage of the early voting period.
Six candidates are running for three open seats on the Blowing Rock Board of Commissioners, and longtime mayor J.B. Lawrence is facing a challenge from mayoral candidate Dan Phillips. Polls close at 7:30 p.m. Look for all of the election results here tonight.