State board won’t consider Sunday voting – yet

By Kevin Spradlin

The North Carolina State Board of Elections released its tentative agenda for its July 29 public meeting and addressing what is believed to be four of the state’s 100 counties — Richmond, Union, Wake and Wilson — that voted down Sunday voting by a split vote will have to wait.

election2014logoThe Richmond County Board of Elections voted 2-1 on July 8 in Rockingham to not offer Sunday voting among its required 113 hours. The vote went along party lines, and lone dissenter and Democrat Carlton Hawkins quickly submitted his alternative plan to the state board. Republican members A.B. Brown, chairman, and Ernie Walters voted in favor of a plan that did not offer Sunday voting.

By law, the state board is required to approve or disapprove each county’s plan in situations of a split vote like the one in Richmond County. That won’t happen July 29 in inside the meeting room at 441 N. Harrington St. in Raleigh — not yet, anyway.

Among the items on the tentative meeting agenda:

* State canvas of July 15 second primary
* Appointment of new county board of elections members (Republican vacancies in Wilson, Montgomery and Cabarrus counties, as well as a Democratic vacancy in Wilkes County)
* Consideration of proposed state board rules on MAT’s and rule making
* Setting of special filing period for John Martin, N.C. Court of Appeals, Judge H. William Constangy’s seat in Superior District Court 26B and Judge Robert Johnson’s seat on Superior Court District 15A
* Consideration of county board of elections’ unanimous one-stop absentee voting plans, requesting reductions of hours during the 2014 General Election.

The board must provide voters a minimum of 113 hours of early voting and, due to a change in state law, must do so in five fewer days’ time this November election.

Hawkins said his argument in favor of Sunday voting was that it was done in Richmond County successfully for the 2012 presidential election. A total of 571 Richmond County voters cast their ballot on Sunday — or only 0.06 percent of the 10,372 votes cast in that general election.

“It worked well” in 2012, Hawkins said and referred to a countywide petition through which “an impressive number of people … asked for this service.”


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  • Jody Meacham

    You might want to check your math on the percentage of Richmond County voters who cast Sunday ballots in the 2012 general election. The 571 Sunday ballots are 18.2 percent of the 10,372 total ballots.

    In other words, if Sunday voting is done away with, almost one in five county voters will be inconvenienced this fall based on the pattern established in 2012. That’s a big chunk of voters.

  • Jody Meacham

    Oops! My bad. In an attempt to correct the math error in this story, I made one of my own. The 571 Sunday ballots are 6 percent — not 0.06 percent — of the 10,372 ballots cast in 2012. The error is in the placement of the decimal. If you publish this comment rather than making a correction, that is a bit more than one in every 20 county voters who would be inconvenienced by abolishing Sunday voting.

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