One-stop voting sites selected

Mar. 09, 2014 @ 11:09 AM

 The Orange County Board of Elections approved five sites for one-stop voting the 2014 primary and general elections – the Seymour Center, the board of elections office, Master’s Garden Preschool in Hillsborough, Carrboro Town Hall and the Hillel House.

The board said that it was trying to find consistent sites that could be used for elections in the future and that would allow for the same operating hours.

“We started looking for sites in August and started getting the most input in the last few months,” said Kathy Knight, chairwoman of the elections board. “We got complaints about not being consistent across the board and being confusing for voters.”
The sites will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Early voting will be April 24 through May 3, with the primary May 6.
UNC’s Cobb Hall was considered but there were concerns about curbside voting, accessibility for the elderly and being able to transmit votes from the building’s basement. University representatives said that those concerns can be successfully addressed, but the board said it did not have enough equipment for a sixth site for this election.
“This would be a great opportunity for a test run if Cobb is used now for the 2016 election,” said board member Jamie Cox.
Unable to reach a consensus, Cobb Hall as a sixth voting site will go to the state Board of Election for consideration. Cobb could become a sixth site if there is available funding for additional equipment after the state review.
Board member Ana Kuhn and Knight said that with Hillel being so close to campus that Cobb Hall as an additional site was too close in proximity, even though board member Jamie Cox said it would serve the eastern Orange communities as well.
“Right now it would not be a good idea to put two voting sites on campus and three in the rest of the county,” Kuhn said.
For this election, the county has to provide 226 hours for people to vote. With the five sites the county will have 71 additional hours, totaling 299.