Board of Elections cuts down on early-voting options

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County election officials said they expect 60 percent of registered voters to cast their ballot before Election Day in November.

The Board of Elections voted Monday night to only have six sites open the first week of early voting before opening all 22 a week before Election Day.

That means there would be fewer sites and 238 fewer hours for people to vote early compared to the 2012 election.

"The meeting last night was incredibly frustrating," Luis Rodriguez said.

He was there on behalf of Progress NC and tried to encourage the board not to cut the number of early-voting hours.

"The main concern with cutting hours for voting is that you disenfranchise people. You cut their access to the voting poll," Rodriguez told Channel 9.

Mel Hartsell with Democracy NC was also at the meeting.

"I think it is a compromise," Hartsell said. "I don't know that it's fair to cut hours as much as they cut them."

There is more controversy surrounding the upcoming election.

North Carolina's voter ID law is still tied up in federal courts.

Hours before the county Board of Elections talked early voting Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory urged a federal judge to allow the state's voter ID law to stand. The law requires a picture ID to vote and as Channel 9 reported a couple weeks ago, a federal appeals court ruled it unconstitutional.

Eyewitness News anchor Liz Foster reached out to the Board of Elections members to ask why they want to cut the number of early voting hours. She did not hear back by the end of the day.

The state Board of Elections has to review the county's proposed plan. Early voting starts Oct. 20.

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