The cost to implement a recently-passed state law has left many North Carolina counties’ boards of elections unsure how to manage early voting for this November’s midterm elections, and some are planning to offer fewer voting locations to comply with the law. While all counties must have a central early voting site open during business hours, most counties have also used additional “one-stop” voting sites, operated by volunteers and temporary paid staffers. Those sites accommodate voters for whom the central polling place, usually located at the Board of Elections office, is less convenient.
Senate Bill 325 — approved last month despite a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper — requires that each one-stop voting site remains open for the entirety of the early voting period, with mandatory hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.
The county board office can still be open weekday business hours only. While weekend hours are up to the discretion of the county board of elections, they must be the same for all county locations.
This year, early voting is expected to last from Monday, Oct. 17, to Saturday, Nov. 3.