Elections Teaser

Moore County is preparing for what will be one of the most challenging election years yet.

Early voting for the March 3 primaries begins Thursday at the Moore County Agricultural Center on Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage and the Pinehurst Fire Department on Magnolia Road, which was also used during the 2016 elections. The Pinehurst site will include one Sunday afternoon of voting.

Elections Director Glenda Clendenin said the early voting period will still be 17 days, but the General Assembly increased the number of hours sites must be open. She told county commissioners during their winter work session last month that the increased hours have posed challenges in scheduling workers to staff the two sites and hold down overtime since many of them will also work the polls on March 3.

“Early voting will be very different this year,” she said.

The main site at the Agricultural Center in Carthage will operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, as well as 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29, the final day of early voting.

The Pinehurst Fire Department will operate from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the two Saturdays in the period, as well as 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.

Another big challenge will be handling 15 different ballot styles.

“It is going to be a nightmare,” Clendenin said.

There are five presidential preference primaries. Moore County is split between two congressional districts — the 8th and 9th — for this election and two state House districts: 52 and 78.

All that adds up to 15 ballots: four Republican, three Democrat and two each for the Constitution, Green and Libertarian parties, and two for non-partisan only. One nonpartisan ballot includes two school board primaries that every voter will get and another one for an ABC referendum for voters living in the Sheffield township.

Clendenin said voters will not be required to show a photo ID for this election. A federal judge issued an order Dec. 31 blocking implementation of the state’s new constitutional requirement.

She said the elections office has received a number of calls from voters about this, many questioning why IDs are not being required.

“These precinct workers are your neighbors, so please be understanding,” Clendenin said. “They take an oath to follow the law. We are just following the law.”

Clendenin told commissioners that the county has moved the Seven Lakes voting place from the fire department to the gym at Seven Lakes Baptist Church at 1015 Seven Lakes Drive, which she said will be “safer to get in and out of.” She said the elections board had to send letters to every voter notifying them of the change.

Clendenin said the elections board is training 300 workers who will staff the 25 polling places on Election Day, March 3, which will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. About 52 workers will help staff the early voting sites.

“We are busy right now,” Clendenin said. “There are a lot of challenges facing the Board of Elections and our staff, but we are working hard to be prepared.”

Glendenin told commissioners that voters are concerned about the safety and integrity of the elections. She said the county is sticking with its present system of using paper ballots that are fed into machines by the voter. The machines tabulate the results after the polls close. She said the county has not experienced any significant problems with them previously.

She said the elections board decided not to look into purchasing new equipment for this election and instead will “wait and see what other counties use and what works” before making any decisions.

Contact David Sinclair at (910) 693-2462 or dsinclair@thepilot.com

(9) comments

Kent Misegades

Early voting and opposition to a voter ID are two of the many dirty tricks Democrats employ in their desperate attempt to remain relevant. In 1984 Ronald Reagan was re-elected in a landslide winning 49 of 50 states - all on one day. No early voting in 1984.

Jim Tomashoff

All lies. Democrats don't employ the tactic of voter suppression like Republicans do. Democrats want people to vote, Republicans target specific neighborhoods, specific ethnic and racial groups for voter suppression. Unamerican to the core, just like Kent.

Sally Larson

Please Kent, you really need to get over yourself. Dirty tricks????? Geeze......

Gene Maples

Go back and forth all you want on the voter ID (which I personally think should be as required as any other .gov program) but listen folks, we should be giving thanks for OUR Moore County BoE - Glenda & wonderful staff - who keep all of our Moore County elections sqeeky-clean no matter what the 'suits-in-general-on-high' command with no clue of reality.

Mark Hayes

I don't understand why any would be questioning why a photo ID will not be required, when you have a Federal Judge, Loretta Biggs, having been appointed by Obama, the Democratic party being controlled by The NAACP, what is there left to question ?

Dan Roman

Ignorance and prejudice does not make Marks version of life reality.

Mark Hayes

I believe 55% of the North Carolina population voted on the issue, approved the photo ID requirement, those mentioned protested and got their way, why should I not state the truth.

Dan Roman

I understand you don't understand the concept of lack of constitutionality despite a "popular" vote..

My comment was directed to ignorance, prejudice and conspiracy theory all wrapped up in one run on sentence.

Catches ones attention.

Jim Tomashoff

Maybe you should not, "...state the truth" because your versions of "truth" are fact-free assertions. Where is your "truth" that "...the NAACP controls the Democratic Party."? Where is your "truth" that because Judge Biggs was appointed by Obama her ruling was obviously cynical and based solely on her presumed (presumed by you that is) political prejudice? You fashion yourself to be a great patriot and lover/protector of the Constitution, but you believe that if a majority of people vote a certain way then a matter is settled law (so long as they voted in the way you wanted). Perhaps you've heard of the concept of "majority rules but minority rights." It is, after all, enshrined in the Constitution even though that exact phrasing is not in the document. You believe in pure majority rights apparently. Then I guess you support banning "assault type" semi-automatic weapons and support universal background checks for the purchase of all guns. Poll and poll shows significant majority of Americans support for these positions, 65% or more, do you? But in this case you don't believe their views should hold sway, do you?. You'd like to make flag burning illegal and throw those who burn a flag in jail for a long time. Yet even Judge Antonin Scalia vehemently opposed such positions because he understood that flag burning was "political speech" and unquestionably protected by the First Amendment ( see, https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/02/13/scalia-burning-flag-piers-intv.cnn/video/playlists/supreme-court-justice-antonin-scalia-dead/). But, proving your ignorance, you question protecting such speech, don't you? Since 55% of North Carolinians support requiring a picture i.d. to vote, and even if such a law is unconstitutional you clearly want it to be allowed to go into effect, period. After all, Majority Rules, right Mark?

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