Imari Scarbrough Staff Writer
January 13, 2014
The Board of Elections discussed its new office location and new voting locations for the upcoming election during its regular monthly meeting on Friday.
Board members intended to vote on combining the three Wadesboro precincts into one “super precinct” for the upcoming election, but decided to wait until the next meeting when all members are present.
Director Steve Adams apprised the board of the progress in moving to a new location. Adams said that all utilities and phone services at the new location have been transferred to the county’s name and that a sign has been put up in front of the building. As of Friday, voting signs, boxes and office supplies had been moved, and more items are being moved this week. The county is using inmate labor to move heavy items, such as furniture. Adams plans on having everything moved in by Feb. 1 and tentatively plans to hold an open house during the second week of February.
While the physical office will move, Adams said that the phone number and mailing address (a post office box) will remain the same. “We’re excited about [the move],” Adams said. “We’ve been packing and getting ready. If we could move in today, we would.”
The new office offers a wealth of space, parking and accessibility that the current office does not. “It was great to have this happen,” Adams said. “To be honest, we weren’t supposed to have access to the building until next year. The county and the hospital have been great to work with.” One-Stop Early voting will be held at the new office location.
The board also discussed precinct issues for Election Day. During the last election, the power went out for 15-20 minutes in each of two separate incidents at the Lilesville precinct at Lilesville Elementary School when the generator kicked in. Board members found that this happens when the generator turns on every Tuesday night and surmised that some voters probably left when the place went dark, losing votes.
To avoid this problem in the future, the board hopes to relocate the precinct, possibly to the Lilesville Fire Department, the town hall or to a different room in the school where the lights will be unaffected by the generator. Board members plan to bring their dilemma to the Lilesville Town Council during the council’s next meeting on Feb. 3.
In addition to new locations, the board also discussed new hours for Early Voting. Due to new requirements, the number of hours that the polls have to be open has increased while the number of early voting days is down from 14 to 10. The county doesn’t have enough voters to justify opening multiple locations to spread the hours out with, nor does it have enough voters to fill up all of the new necessary hours.
Adams found that the board can request a reduction to the required hours and submitted a new schedule, which the board approved if the state board grants the request for reduced hours. The proposed early voting schedule would be from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on every day of early voting except the last Saturday of voting, which would only run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
County offices up for election
Several positions will be open for voting in the upcoming election, including:
The next Board of Elections meeting will be held on Feb. 14 at noon at the new office located at 402 Morven Road in Wadesboro near the Anson Community Hospital. For questions on voting or about the new office location, call the Board of Elections at 704-994-3223.