RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Voters in New Hanover County will not be able to cast ballots on Sundays during the early voting period leading up to the General Election on Nov. 8 after a decision today by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
The State Board voted 4-1 to make small changes to an early voting plan approved last month by New Hanover County Board of Elections. Board members Jonathan Washburn and Jamie Getty, both Republicans, voted in favor of the schedule, and Democratic member Tom Pollard voted against it.
The compromise plan adopted by the state board added 20 hours to the local plan. Early voting in the county begins Oct. 20, with voters being able to cast ballots between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Mondays-Saturdays, except on the final Thursday and Friday. The compromise added two additional hours on Thursday, Nov. 3, and Friday, Nov. 4, extending early voting hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on those days. On Saturday, Nov. 5, the last day of early voting, the polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The early voting sites would include the Government Center, the CFCC Health Sciences Building, the Northeast Regional Library, the Senior Resources Center, and Carolina Beach Town Hall.
An alternative plan submitted by Pollard, called "The Minority Plan," looked to add 14 hours on Sundays, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, to add more early voting hours outside the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe, and to add extra hours on Nov. 5, the final day of early voting.
During Thursday's hearing in Raleigh, Pollard said he proposed the extra hours and dates to meet the needs of the community.
"The last three days of the voting period are normally the busiest," he told the board members. "This gives an opportunity for those who haven't gotten to the polls yet to get there."