August 6, 2018

State Approves Dare Early Voting Plan That Includes Sunday


The state Board of Elections has approved an early voting plan in Dare County for this fall’s election that includes allowing voters to cast ballots on the last Sunday of October.

Meeting at Wake Forest University on Sunday, the state board approved on a partisan-split vote a proposal submitted by Dare County Board of Elections vice-chair Sandy Semans Ross.

Early voting sites will be located at the Kill Devil Hills Town Hall, Fessenden Center in Buxton and the Dare Board of Elections office on Roanoke Island.

The Republican majority in the Legislature passed a law this summer that all early voting sites will have to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays starting Oct. 17, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday Nov. 3. Election Day is Nov. 6.

A number of local election officials across the state have said staffing early voting sites will be difficult under the 12-hour mandate.

County election boards were given the option to add four hours to the early voting schedule on a day of their choice.

Ross’ plan will have all three sites open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.

Republicans Donna Elms and Carole Warnecki, and Democrats Virginia Tillett and Ross, were unable to give unanimous approval of any of the proposals they came up with last month, which led to the state board being required to decide.

Elms, Warnecki and Ross submitted proposals that would close the Pitts Center as an early voting location. Tillett proposed keeping the Pitts Center in use, while Ross was the only to suggest Sunday voting.

The state board approved the Ross plan by a 5-4 margin, with all four Democrats and the unaffiliated member voting yes, while the four Republicans voted no.

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