As of Thursday morning 1.8 million North Carolinians have voted early….and those of you who haven’t, just received an extension. The AP is reporting that polling places across NC can stay open until 5pm on Saturday (the last day to vote early) rather than the previous 1pm limit. More information on Early Voting Locations.
Accoring to the US Elections Project, over 50% of the total voter count of 2004 have already voted. Records will be set in more ways than one in a week.
In an emergency meeting Thursday, North Carolina’s elections board unanimously agreed to extend Saturday early voting until 5 p.m. Counties can close their polls at 1 p.m. as scheduled if election commissioners from both parties agree without dissent. The meeting came after Mecklenburg and Guilford counties sought permission to keep the sites open longer.
The only qualm? Well, the schedules are already published of course. Really? We can get a couple of other last minute voters and Kolb says that since they are already published, things can’t change? Seems like that “no political reason” is indeed a political reason.
“There are people who cannot vote on Saturday because they can’t get there by 1 p.m.,” said James Turner, a Democratic board member in Guilford County. “If we want to get a vote from any of these people, we need to extend the voting hours.”
Michael Kolb, a Republican member of Mecklenburg’s election board, said he had no political reason to oppose extending the hours but questioned why officials would alter the schedule after spending such a long time establishing it.
“My qualm is extending the hours after we already published them,” he said.