The Richmond County Board of Elections held a meeting Tuesday to hear comments about opening on Sundays during Early Voting for the election in November.
The board will submit a plan to the North Carolina State Board of Elections by Aug. 10, as is required. By then board members will have decided if they will make any changes to voting hours.
According to Board of Elections Director Connie Kelly, funding could limit such a change.
“It’s not dead in the water yet,” said Kelly. “Board members have been called by party officials and quite a few people showed up (for the meeting).”
Out of about 40 people in attendance, Kelly said the majority of them were against opening on Sundays.
Richmond County Republican Party Vice Chairman Tim Watson said those who were opposed to the BOE opening on Sunday were mostly against it for religious reasons.
Others who favor opening on Sunday said it would allow people who work more opportunity to vote.
Kelly said the BOE was contacted in June by the group Democracy N.C., who spurred the conversation about voting on Sundays.
According to the group’s website, www.democracy-nc.org, “Many counties have sites open (for voting) on Saturdays, some even on Sunday.”
Hilda Pemberton, board chair, said the board will take all comments into consideration as it drafts a plan to submit to state election officials.
“Our initial review looked at adding a Saturday, but I’m not sure at this point,” she said. “The Republican Party was there in large numbers and I have received calls from Democratic leaders as well. We’re going to consider all of this.”
Pemberton said the board welcomes further comments from voters on whether hours need adjusting or if additional days are needed. She gave no indication of what sort of changes were to come, if any.
— Staff writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.