New Hanover elections board adds one-stop voting site at community college
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WILMINGTON -- At Friday's New Hanover County Board of Elections meeting, a resolution passed to add a one-stop polling location the the Applied Technologies building on the Cape Fear Community College's campus.
Board of Elections Director Marvin McFadyen said of Cape Fear Community College, "They provide us a secured room just inside the main entrance to that facility."
But it's coming as a surprise to some, after a group of UNCW students came to the Aug. 3 meeting asking for a one-stop polling site but were turned down.
UNCW Chief of Staff Max Allen said the Board of Elections never made a formal request.
"They never really came to us and asked us to consider as an early voting site," Allen said.
The board said establishing a polling location for the presidential election on campus had already proven difficult with the college's other requirements. So they didn't even pursue a one-stop location.
"For most of this year, we've been experiencing difficulties as to whether that would be a possibility for election day," McFadyen said.
Allen and McFadyen both agree no one party is in the wrong in this situation. The concerns were just not brought to them soon enough.
Allen said, "When this request from others in the community as well as the campus that, 'Why don't we consider an early voting site?' It was too late."
With activities booked months, even years in advance on campus, officials said early voting will have to be something that's explored in the future, not this year.
In the meantime, Allen said students will have plenty of other chances to cast their votes.
"We're setting up a shuttle that's going to run every single day from Monday through Friday from 7 in the morning to 6 in the evening to take them to the government center, which is only a few blocks from our campus."
The board also decided to move the polling location at the UNCW Marine Science Center to the Harbor United Methodist Church for election day. The change was made due to UNCW's ongoing construction.