Early voting has begun

Registered voters who can't wait until Election Day to vote now have the opportunity to vote in person across North Carolina.

fr birdtownSwain County voters living in Cherokee and Whittier will begin a new routine on Election Day this November. The precinct’s longtime polling place in Whittier is moving five miles down the road to Birdtown, a change that board of elections officials say was prompted by accessibility concerns. 

fr votinglawsNew controversial voting laws passed by the N.C. General Assembly last year were supposed to take effect in 2016, but the timeline will ultimately come down to lawsuits challenging their constitutionality.

coverWalking out of the Jackson County Board of Elections offices in Sylva, Lane Perry seemed pleased. A year’s worth of work was about to pay off. 

SEE ALSO: Election laws in the ‘new’ North Carolina

“At the end of the day, we want to be able to get university students to vote where they live for three to five years,” Perry explained on the way to his car.

Changes to the voting laws in North Carolina will have only a small effect on voter turnout, according to a Western Carolina University political analyst.

coverThe new voter identification requirement won’t likely affect North Carolinians who have put down roots, but more transient populations including college students may find the new regulations cumbersome. 

College students in North Carolina will have to make an extra effort if they want to vote in their college town — though it won’t be an impossible feat.  

fr maconcommMacon County commissioners are analyzing the geographic system of electing county leaders after two commissioners from outlying communities questioned whether the process is too weighted in Franklin’s favor.

fr precinctsDuring early voting this year, some voters in Haywood County found themselves waiting up to an hour to cast their ballot. But when Election Day rolled around, many walked right into their precinct without delay.

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