ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County voters have 16 days to cast their votes ahead of election day, according to a schedule released late Tuesday.
The schedule was approved by the N.C. State Board of Elections last Thursday. Richmond County was one of 33 counties in North Carolina with a non-unanimous plan, according to Elections Director Connie Kelly.
Carlton Hawkins, the lone Democrat on the Richmond County Board of Elections, had pushed for a Sunday day during the early voting period, but was outvoted during a July meeting.
The primary location will be the N.C. Cooperative Extension Office on Caroline Street in Rockingham. Early voting begins there Thursday, Oct. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Those hours will be the same the following day, and Monday through Friday the following week, Oct. 24-28.
During the final week of early voting — Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 —polls will be open until 6:30 p.m., adding an extra hour.
The Cooperative Extension will also be open on the weekends: from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 and 29; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5; and 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 23, the only Sunday on the schedule.
Voters in Norman can go the community center Sat., Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Nov. 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hours at Cole Auditorium in Hamlet and Ellerbe Town Hall are similar, with Hamlet voters having two extra days.
The schedule for the Cole is: Saturday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Nov. 1 and 3 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Nov. 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ellerbe voting hours are: Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nov. 1 and 3 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Nov. 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.