New Hanover Co. Board of Elections meeting results in heated debate
Updated: Updated 08/03/2012 05:20 PM
By: Katie Rufener
WILMINGTON—A heated topic resulted in heated arguments at the Board of Elections meeting Friday.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the county's options when it came to one-stop voting. The Board's decision was to have one-stop voting for the three weeks leading up to the election. Thursday through Saturday the first week and then Monday through Saturday for the following two weeks.
Dozens of residents turned out to express their views on what needs to be done differently when it comes to one-stop or early voting. New Hanover County resident Sonya Patrick attended the meeting and was displeased with the results.
"They refused to hear anything. The way the meeting was carried out; our opinions didn't matter," said Patrick.
Board of Elections Secretary Geneva Reid admitted they had received complaints about the direction they decided to take.
"We have had quite a few phone calls, quite a few e-mails and even some letters written to the Board of Elections," said Reid.
The requests of those attending the meeting were for Sunday voting to be included and for extended hours.
"We're going to be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and they're wanting 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., which are really long days for poll workers," said Reid.
New Hanover County resident Steven Kelly was also at the meeting and said he was frustrated with the Board's unwillingness to bend in their decision. Kelly said if the polls stayed open until 7 p.m., it would accommodate those who worked from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
A group of UNC Wilmington students also came out to express frustrations that there is no early voting on campus.
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