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Local Elections Boards Consider How To Reinstate Early Voting

Photo: A Massachusetts voting station sign
Katri Niemi

Local elections boards are raising questions about how to restore the early voting period after a court ruling struck down North Carolina's newest elections law.

Last month, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered each county to come up with plans to extend early voting from 10 days back to the 17 days that were in place before the law was passed.

But the order did not specify how many polling places each county should have. Wake County recently voted to provide 17 days of early voting at only one spot.

The court could interpret that as another attempt at voter suppression, according to Duke University political science professor Kerry Haynie.

"The simple solution there is to go back to where we were before the law, and then litigate from there, as opposed to seemingly attempting to restrict voting by limiting the early voting period," Haynie said.

In Guilford County, the board of elections considered cutting early voting sites. Instead, more options were added for early voting after protesters demonstrated at a board meeting.

Supporters of the elections law that was struck down say the court's ruling undermines the integrity of elections.  Gov. Pat McCrory has vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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