Early Voting

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.

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