by: Scott Wickersham Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
The first week of early voting has been slow in Mecklenburg County.
The Hal Marshall Center is the only place you can vote in that first week.
In the first six days, 553 people cast ballots.
That is less than 0.1 percent of the 654,000 registered voters in the county.
That number is lower than the last comparable year, 2011, which was also an all-local election, where 737 voted.
"I've always thought the way we have early voting now is a bit of a sham" said Rep. Ruth Samuelson.
She said the numbers justify the change.
"Unless you live or work uptown, you will not go to Hal Marshall," Samuelson said. "The new system will broaden the hours for everyone."
The law has been challenged by several groups, including the North Carolina ACLU, claiming it suppresses the minority vote.
They used Florida as an example, which made similar changes in 2012.
"Citizens in Florida vote eight hours after the polls close. One study indicated 201,000 Floridians gave up on trying to vote because the lines were so long" said ACLU legal director Chris Brook.
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