NC NAACP Call on Voters to Persevere in the Face of State Election Board Order to Use Paper Poll Books

NAACP

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Phone: (202) 463-2940
Email: washingtonbureau@naacpnet.org

NC NAACP Call on Voters to Persevere in the Face of State Election Board Order to Use Paper Poll Books

DURHAM - Early this morning, the North Carolina State Board of Elections instructed the Durham County Board of Elections to use paper poll books instead of electronic poll books.  This abrupt change led to some voters being turned away from certain precincts this morning and in some precincts throughout the day. Our understanding is that all precincts now have all the supplies needed to function with paper poll books and we are calling on all Durham voters to persevere in voting. If you are in line, stay in line. Do not leave without casting a ballot. If you left, come back and vote!

 
“We need every voter to vote,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber “We urge all North Carolina voters to stay at the polls until they have voted. Do not be deterred or discouraged, we will fight the legal battles, you have to fight the battle against discouragement.”
 
The NC NAACP, the Forward Together Coalition and the Election Protection Coalition are monitoring to ensure that all precincts in Durham continue to receive adequate supplies to keep the lines moving throughout the rest of the day. In addition, we have requested that the State Board order that Durham polling places be kept open later into the evening – by 2 hours --to compensate for the glitches during the morning.
 
This afternoon, the Durham Board of Elections unanimously petitioned the State Board to keep Durham polls open for 1.5 hours past the normal 7:30pm closing time to rectify the loss of voting opportunity in the morning.  This issue is currently in the hands of the State Board and we are requesting immediate attention. The NC NAACP, in the strongest terms possible, calls on the State Board approve this unanimous petition. Prior to HB 589, the County Board would have been able to extend the hours to address this situation without approval of the State Board. This petition is a test of whether the State Board will use its new power under HB 589 to protect voters, or to suppress voting.
 
The NC NAACP also demands that the Durham County Board of Elections open its office as an alternative “super precinct” site where any voter from anywhere in the county may come to vote.
**Background**
 
We have received reports from at least North Regional Library, South Regional Library, and White Rock Baptist Church precincts in Durham County that voters who attempted to vote before their work day this morning were surprised to find themselves waiting on lines of 45 minutes or even longer just to reach the check-in desks at their polling places.  We have also received reports of irregularities with the electronic check-in process, a shortage of Authorization to Vote (ATV) forms and a shortage of provisional ballot applications.
 
At least one precinct that we are aware of, the Bethesda Ruritan Club precinct, ran out of “authorization to vote” forms and applications for provisional ballots, and had to shut down completely for nearly two hours this morning.  As a result many voters were turned away from the polling place.
 
Based on the reports we are receiving, it is clear that voters are determined, despite these setbacks, to get to the polls today.  It is the State Election Board’s and the Durham County Board of Elections’ duty to make sure these voters can vote

North Carolina NAACP · PO Box 335, Durham, NC 27702, United States
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You can also keep up with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II on Twitter or Facebook.

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Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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