NC counties increase early voting sites but decrease hours

There will be more early voting sites this year than in any previous midterm election, the State Board of Elections said last week.

The last “off year,” in 2010, set out 296 sites for one-stop voting. This year, nearly 370 are planned, an increase of about 25 percent, according to the elections board.

In addition, the number of counties offering one-stop voting on at least two Saturdays will see a 135 percent increase, to 80. And the number of evening hours available for one-stop will see a 68 percent increase, to 3,629.

“We are proud of the hard work counties have done to offer voters a variety of ways to participate,” said State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Strach.

Adjustments to voting processes are taking effect after the package of law changes passed by the legislature last year. Among other things – such as a voter ID requirement effective in 2016 – it arranged for fewer days of in-person early voting.

While the law change generally requires the same number of early voting hours as the 2010 election, it does allow a county board to unanimously request fewer hours, which the state board may grant with a unanimous vote.

The cumulative number of one-stop voting hours will dip from 26,579.5 in 2010 to 25,735.5 this year. The aggregate number of one-stop voting days will decrease from 3,402 in 2010 to 3,014 this year, an 11 percent difference.

One-stop voting will begin Oct. 23.