Lassiter advances to face Foxx in mayoral race

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The biggest headline from the polls Tuesday has turned out to be how few people showed up.

There were no lines.   Only 677 people took advantage of early voting. (Click here for full results)

We're told this may end up being one of the worst turnouts in Mecklenburg County History.

But there were some big decisions to be made.

Three Republicans who are vying to be the party nominee for Mayor were seeking Pat McCrory's seat.  He's retiring after serving in the office for the last 14 years.

Republican John Lassiter took the lead early, stayed way ahead and will face Democrat Anthony Foxx in the general election for Mayor.   Lassiter pulled in 80 percent of the vote to advance to the November election.

There are 14 candidates running for City Council At-Large which makes up the largest field in memory.  This includes seven Democrats and seven Republicans.  The top four in each party will face off in the General Election.

It was the incumbents dominating in the Democratic City Council Districts.

In District one Patsy Kinsey won re-election where she faces no opposition in November. The same goes for James Mitchell in District Two. And in District Five it appears Nancy Carter will win another term.

So, no upsets there.

Finally the at-large races for city council -- top four move on to the November election -- and that will be Patrick Cannon, Susan Burgess, David Howard and Darrin Rankin.

And here are the four Republicans they will face where things are much closer:  Edwin Peacock III and Matthew Ridenhour will make it, but it's still to close to call between Tariz Bokhari, Georgia Belk and Jerry Drye all fighting out for the final two spots.

Questions about the primary? Call 704-336-2133.

So, who's fault is it if no one is paying attention to the primary election? Is it the media, voters or both?

UNC Charlotte Professor Martha Kropf says one thing is for certain.

"Face-to-face contact with individuals increases the liklihood of voter mobilization," Kropf said.  "So, when candidates get out there and press the flesh--go out and shake hands and meet people--they're going to show a great deal of interest."

With so few showing up, is it time for Charlotte to do away with partisan elections?  If so, that would eliminate the need for a primary.

Should the city consider combining the city races with the presidential election?  If they were to do that, it would create an incredibly long ballot.

Currently, Charlotte has an election every year.

Exactly why have the early voting numbers been so abysmal?  It may be due to budget cuts.  Mecklenburg County cut funding to the Board of Elections this year.

Instead of opening nine or 10 sites for Early Voting, they only had one location and the early voting numbers have suffered.

The polls will be open today until 7:30 p.m.  Click here to find out where to vote.   Click here to find out more about the candidates.  If you have questions about the primary, call the Board of Elections at 704-336-2133.