The Watauga County Board of Elections voted Thursday to reverse its decision to close a voting precinct on the Appalachian State University campus.
At a hearing in Raleigh Tuesday, state election officials supported the Watauga County Board of Election's decision to combine early voting sites. The board of elections also decided to close a regular precinct on campus.
There will again be three voting sites. One will be at the Administration building next to the courthouse. A second will be at the agriculture center. A third will be on ASU's campus, but will be moved from the Student Center to the campus entertainment venue Legends.
The changes had drawn sharp criticism from opponents who say it will make it more difficult for college students and faculty to vote.
The board chairman, who is a Republican, said Tuesday the on-campus site was within a half-mile of another site that is better suited to handle a large number of voters, but he said the board is going to fix the controversy Wednesday.
Some state officials were critical of the county’s politics at the hearing
“You guys have got to start getting along, alright? We saw this on YouTube, and this is not how elections in North Carolina need to be run. There are episodes between y’all that are not courteous, they are not professional. I have heard profanity in your meetings,” said Josh Howard, chairman of the North Carolina Board of Elections.