The Southern Coalition for Social Justice has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Democracy North Carolina for emergency action to keep Durham polls open until 9 p.m. A hearing on the lawsuit is expected shortly before Wake County Superior Court Judge Don Stephens. The filing comes after software glitches in Durham have prompted the county Board of Elections to ask the state for permission to extend voting hours by 90 minutes Tuesday evening. Durham County Board of Elections Chair Bill Brian said the county took its electronic voting system offline after problems popped up at several precincts. Poll workers were unable to look up voter registration information digitally, so they turned to paper records. That requires the use of paper forms, and when some precincts ran out of the forms, voting ground to a halt.
“It appeared that some of the data from prior elections had not been cleared out, and people were being improperly listed as having already voted,” Brian said. “They didn’t have the right software, it appears. Why that happened, we don’t know yet.” He said it was the county’s first year to use electronic voting books.
Voting was halted for an hour and a half at the precinct at Bethesda Ruritan Club on South Miami Blvd.
Meanwhile, the county sent runners out to all the precincts to find out whether there have been other disruptions in the voting process.