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NC Board Of Elections Rejects Early Voting Site For Appalachian State University

voting sign
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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. 

Campbell is the only Democrat on the board.  She says the decision to not include an early voting site on campus disenfranchises young voters, who tend to vote Democratic.  She cites a dip in young voter turnout during recent primary and municipal elections in which ASU did not have an early voting site, and says one location is not enough for the town of Boone. 

Republican board member Bill Aceto says an early voting site on campus is unnecessary, pointing to another early voting location at the Watauga County Administration Building, which is less than a mile from campus.

"This is a location that had over 9,000 early voting in the presidential election, so you compare the last two municipal elections, early voting totals were a little over 6,000 for these elections. I just didn't see the need for two urban locations," Aceto says.

The state Board of Elections agreed, but Campbell says the off-campus location has only half a dozen parking spots and might not be able to keep up with the volume of voters.

"It may be a half a mile from campus, but we have 25,000 people who live in the town that we have to service, so wouldn't it make sense to have more than one voting site in that area that you have so many voters?" she says.

Early voting hours have been extended at the Administration Building.  Appalachian State will have a place to vote on campus on Election Day.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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