Early voting opens in Highlands


While many North Carolina residents have already cast their ballots by mail via absentee voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first big wave of the electoral process began today with the opening of one-stop early voting.

One-stop early voting is a convenient way to have your voice be heard in the 2020 general election, which includes a presidential race as well as campaigns for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. 

On the local level, there isn’t a great deal of intrigue on the 2020 ballot. Hillary Wilkes is running unopposed to be Highlands’ representative on the school board. Melissa Evans is also unopposed to remain Nantahala’s representative. One seat is up for grabs in Franklin with incumbent Jim Breedlove taking on challengers Matt Mason and Emily Ritter.

The two county commissioner races pit Republican Josh Young against Democrat Betty Cloer Wallace in District 2, while Paul Higdon is unopposed in District 3.

Two Macon County residents are running for state office in 2020. Republican Kevin Corbin is seeking the NC Senate District 50 seat and is opposed by Democrat Victoria Fox. Fellow Macon County Republican Karl Gillespie is running for NC House District 117 against Democrat Susan Landis.

In what is sure to be the most talked about statewide race, incumbent Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper will be challenged by Republican Dan Forest.

On the Federal level, the race between incumbent Republican president Donald Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden is the most notable. Democrat Moe Davis and Republican Madison Cawthorn are each running for US House of Representatives District 11. Democrat Cal Cunningham is challenging incumbent US Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican.

As it is every year, its important to make an informed decision regarding who will be leading the country forward into the next four years.

One-stop early voting in Highlands will be open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Highlands Rec Center through Oct. 30. Early voting is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on each Saturday. The final day to early vote will be Oct. 31 and the polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Voters can also cast ballots at their respective polling places from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.