The North Carolina Supreme Court said Wednesday afternoon the courts should take up the issue of early voting on the campus of Appalachian State, literally moments after the State Board of Elections had voted to restore the on-campus early voting site. However, the early voting site will remain open as the state elections board voted, unless the board meets again to cancel the site. The Supreme Court order came down just before 5 p.m., about twenty minutes after the state board voted unanimously to OK the site in a hastily called emergency meeting. Early voting is scheduled to begin in Watauga County at 8 a.m. Thursday. The latest developments follow a ruling last week in a lawsuit filed by a group of Watauga County voters that argued the closure of the on-campus site was a transparent attempt to reduce Democratic turnout. Wake Superior Judge Donald Stephens agreed with the plaintiffs, ordering the state elections board to adopt a new early voting plan for Watauga County that would include a site on campus.
The Watauga County board, like the State Board of Elections, is majority Republican, while the voters at Appalachian State tend to lean Democratic.
The state board appealed Stephens’s ruling to the N.C. Court of Appeals and even asked the state Supreme Court to block the order. But the Court of Appeals denied the appeal Tuesday, and the Supreme Court had not stepped in by the time of Wednesday afternoon’s meeting.
“I guess we have not heard from the Supreme Court at this point, and that’s why we’re here,” commented Republican board member Rhonda Amoroso.
Full Article: App State voting site survives legal fight :: WRAL.com.