NC-03 and NC-09 special elections set for September 10: A look at early voting so far

Special elections will take place in North Carolina’s 3rd and 9th Congressional Districts on Tuesday, September 10. These are the final two of three special U.S. House elections in 2019. Early voting began August 21 and was scheduled to end September 6, although many polling locations have been closed due to Hurricane Dorian. Here’s a look at each race and the early voting numbers so far.
Dan Bishop (R), Dan McCready (D), Jeff Scott (L), and Allen Smith (G) are running in the special election for North Carolina’s 9th District. The election was called after the state board of elections did not certify the results from the 2018 race following an investigation into allegations of absentee ballot fraud.
As of September 3—the 14th day of the 17-day early voting stretch— 54,372 ballots had been accepted, including mail-in absentee and in-person early ballots. That’s half of the total that had been accepted on the 14th day of early voting in the district during the 2018 election. Michael Bitzer, professor of politics and history at Catawba College, attributes part of the discrepancy to the Labor Day holiday. In 2018, 156,935 absentee and early ballots were counted.
Bishop, a state senator, says he has a conservative record in the state legislature and has sought to connect McCready with Democrats in Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar, who Bishop calls radical socialists. McCready says he’d seek bipartisan legislation on healthcare, education, and taxes in the House. He has campaigned on his plan to lower prescription drug prices and criticized Bishop’s voting record on the issue.
In 2018, Republican candidate Mark Harris was 905 votes ahead of McCready, who also ran last year, in the unofficial vote count. Three polls for the special election have shown Bishop and McCready tied within margins of error. Donald Trump (R) won the district by 12 points in the 2016 presidential election.
The special election has drawn endorsements from prominent national figures and $8 million in ad spending from satellite groups, including $2.6 million from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and $1.2 million from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have campaigned for Bishop in the state, and former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed McCready.
Greg Murphy (R), Allen Thomas (D), Tim Harris (L), and Greg Holt (Constitution Party) are running in the special election for North Carolina’s 3rd District. The special election was called after former incumbent Rep. Walter Jones (R) died earlier this year. Jones first took office in 1995.
As of August 28, 2019, 14,349 ballots had been cast, including mail-in absentee and in-person early ballots. In the November 6, 2018, uncontested election for the same seat, 94,458 total early and absentee ballots were counted.
Murphy has campaigned on his support of President Trump and has described himself as a consistent conservative. He has highlighted his work as a doctor and state legislator. Thomas has emphasized economic development, small-town revitalization, and improving access to healthcare in his campaign.
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won the district with 61 percent of the vote.
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