Early Voting

A picture of an 'I Voted' sticker.
Vox Efx / Flickr

County boards of election are racing to meet an August 19th deadline to put together new early voting plans.

The 10-day early voting schedule adopted earlier this year had to be scrapped when a federal court struck down North Carolina's 2012 voting law last month.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

Early voting is underway in North Carolina's second primary of the year. Two incumbent members of Congress face off against each other. Also on the ballot is a seat on the state's Supreme Court.

At the legislature, the Senate wraps up its budget proposal and lawmakers move behind closed doors to hash out a compromise between the House and Senate plans.

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest.

A picture of a voting sign.
Keith Ivey / flickr.com/photos/kcivey/480629716

Early primary voting begins tomorrow morning and runs through March 12.

North Carolina State Board of Elections Spokeswoman Jackie Hyland says early ballots offer the same candidates as the March 15 primary ballot. But early voters may register the same day as they vote.

Hyland says the a state law requiring valid photo identification is now in effect.  Voters without ID may sign an affidavit explaining why they have no ID and receive a provisional ballot.

Flickr user Jeffrey Cohen

More North Carolina voters cast their ballots early this year than did in the last mid-term elections, according to State Board of Elections figures released Sunday. A new election law limited the number of early voting days but increased the total hours.

Roughly 1.1 million people voted by mail or in person at polling stations by the end of early voting on Saturday, up 20 percent from 961,000 in 2010, the board of elections said.

Here are three possible causes for the increased turn-out:
 

Photo: A Massachusetts voting station sign
Katri Niemi / Flickr

Saturday marks the final hours of early voting ahead of Tuesday's election. Polling sites across the state will close at 1 p.m.

The number of early voting days was reduced this year from 17 to 10, leading to a series of lawsuits fearing a decrease in voter opportunity and turnout, particularly among minorities. But State Board of Elections spokesman Josh Lawson says African American turnout has already been high.

A picture of people in voting booths
Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal court judge has issued a preliminary injunction on two portions of North Carolina's new voting law, following a decision from a federal appellate court this week saying the state should allow same-day registration during early voting in this year's election.

Irving Joyner, an attorney with the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, which is challenging the law in court, says that as many as 30,000 African American voters used same-day registration during early voting in the 2012 election.

Photo: Rosanell Eaton and Mary E. Perry
Jorge Valencia

A federal appeals court has suspended parts of North Carolina’s new voting law, saying it may disproportionately affect black voters. State lawmakers are already asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision.

The ruling will allow voters to register on the same day they cast a ballot during early voting, and to vote outside of their assigned precinct.

Early Voting
Leoneda Inge

A  federal appeals Court in Charlotte heard arguments Thursday on whether or not changes to North Carolina's voting law can go into effect before the November election. The changes were passed by the Republican-led General Assembly last year. Critics argue the laws restrict access to voting, particularly among minority groups.

The North Carolina NAACP has argued the changes are a violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, and of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

voting sign
Flickr creative commons

Appalachian State University will not have a early voting site on campus for this year's general election. 

The state Board of Elections denied a request from Watauga County Board of Elections member Kathleen Campbell, who submitted a separate early voting plan from the two other members. 

Early Voting
Leoneda Inge

Opponents of the state's new voting law are planning their next steps after a judge refused to put the law on hold for the November election. A district judge on Friday denied a preliminary injunction for a law limiting the number of early voting days and getting rid of same-day registration at the polls.

Advocates will decide this week whether or not to appeal the decision. Either way, leaders say they are directing their attention to boots-on-the-ground efforts.

voting sign
Flickr creative commons

Early voters in North Carolina have just one more day to cast ballots ahead of Primary Day on May 6th.  The one-stop voting period ends around noon on Saturday.    

Board spokesman Josh Lawson says Thursday's voter totals have not yet been counted, but numbers through Wednesday have been encouraging. 

Vote
Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons/Flickr

Early voting begins today for the May primary election.

Today is the first day North Carolinians can cast their votes in this year's primary election. 289 sites across the state will be open for residents to come to the polls. That's 77 more locations than in 2010.

voting sign
Flickr creative commons

  

As the May primary draws near, issues over voter rights persist. The controversial voter law passed last year requires photo identification and reduces the number of days for early voting in the May 6th primaries. A lawsuit challenging the measure may soon force legislators to release their correspondence related to drafting the legislation. Meanwhile, the State Board of Elections released a report identifying hundreds of cases of possible voter fraud. 

Thousands marched to the North Carolina State Capitol building on Saturday.
James Willamor via Flickr

Organizers of Saturday’s moral march on Raleigh plan to use the event’s momentum to mobilize voters, they say. The event follows last year’s weekly Moral Monday rallies that criticized laws passed by North Carolina’s Republican-led government.  The new focus is on the fall elections.

Protesters crowd the capitol for a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

It seems like a long time ago, but it’s really been just seven months since newly-inaugurated Governor Pat McCrory sounded this hopeful tone:

“North Carolina’s greatest strength and asset remains its people,” he said during his inauguration speech.

“On those main streets across this state, it’s the people that count and that make a difference. People will come from different backgrounds but share a common set of principles. Self-starters and hard workers.”

vote
Dave DeWitt

The House today is expected to take up a bill that makes major changes to how North Carolina will conduct elections. The Voter Verification Information Act includes shorter early voting periods and the elimination of same-day voter registration.

Other changes include no longer pre-registering young voters and increasing the maximum campaign donation per election. That’s in addition to the original purpose of the bill, to create a voter ID requirement.

vote
Dave DeWitt

If you plan to vote in a future election in North Carolina, the Voter Information Verification Act – if it passes – affects you. That goes double if you are a younger voter, don’t have a driver’s license, like to vote early, or may ever be subject to a random challenge of your status as a voter.

The North Carolina Legislative Building
Dave Crosby / flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act affects a number of southern states, including North Carolina.

Previously, the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court in Washington had to approve or pre-clear state laws that affect voting, including redistricting. It also had to approve local and municipal decisions in 40 North Carolina counties with a history of voting discrimination.

Early Voting
Leoneda Inge

Thousands of people packed polling places across the state yesterday as early voting began.

North Carolina Central University’s drum-line led a parade of voters in Durham to the student union where they could vote early.  Leotrice Pegues is a senior at NCCU.  She was excited about casting her vote early.   Pegues didn’t get to vote in 2008 because she forgot to switch her registration.

North Carolina's early voting period comes to an end today.

Gurnal Scott: Several key races and a controversial amendment question on marriage has kept voters coming out up to this last day to vote before Tuesday's primary. State board of Elections executive director Gary Bartlett says the last two weeks have had ebbs and flows.