RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on early voting plans being decided by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (all times local):
The North Carolina State Board of Elections is working through conflicts among local election officials unable to agree on early voting schedules adjusted after a federal court struck down a law approved by Republicans that had trimmed such voting by a week.
Board members debated before a standing-room only crowd Thursday while working their way through contested plans covering 33 of the state’s 100 counties.
Most local boards were divided over the number of early voting hours or whether or not they would allow Sunday voting. The state board had worked through a half-dozen counties Thursday morning and approved plans backed by majorities on local boards.
For Rockingham County north of Greensboro and Gaston County west of Charlotte, the board approved the plans of each board’s Republican members that don’t allow Sunday voting.
North Carolina election officials are scrutinizing proposed early voting schedules in a third of the state’s counties that were altered when a federal appeals court struck down ballot access laws written by Republicans.
The State Board of Elections was slated to meet Thursday to settle disputes after local boards couldn’t agree on dates, hours or sites for in-person voting that now covers 17 days this fall. The decisions are important in a presidential battleground state. Adjustments could affect turnout.
Early voting previously covered 10 days before judges ruled this summer that the legislature reduced the length of time with discriminatory intent toward black voters. Civil rights activists accuse some Republicans of seeking to get around the legal decision by curbing hours or eliminating Sunday voting. GOP leaders say criticisms are purely political.