04/08/04 — New Duplin election supervisor reviews voting schedule

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New Duplin election supervisor reviews voting schedule

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 8, 2004 2:02 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County's new elections supervisor, Suzanne Southerland, reported that the county has 24,390 registered voters, which is up by 150 since February.

She told the county commissioners Monday that there's always an increase in registration in the years of presidential elections.

The filing period for this year's elections begin at noon on April 26 and continue until noon on May 7.

Offices that are up for election include Congressional Districts 3 and 7; N.C. Senate District 10; N.C. House District 4; register of deeds; county commissioner and school board Districts 1, 4, 5 and 6.

State House District 4 has been changed for this election, and it now includes all of Duplin County. "The House district was the only change we had," she said of redistricting.

Ms. Southerland said she plans to apply for a federal grant for computers and software.

She also reported that there are several new rules in place for the coming election.

One is that the canvass will be held seven days after the election. The canvass is when election results are made official.

Mrs. Southerland told commissioners they will probably get phone calls about another new rule.

This one will require signatures on the registration books at the polls. She said it's expected to slow down the process a little.

Those casting votes for the first time in Duplin County will have to show some form of identification, she said. Those registering to vote by mail will have to bring ID to the polls.

"Some will be asked to show ID, and some won't. That will cause some questions, too," she said. "They will have been notified three times that they will be required to present an ID at the polls. If they do not provide the ID, they can vote, but will be asked to vote provisionally, and they will have seven days until the canvass to bring the ID."

Absentee votes are still no-excuse votes, she said, and anybody can vote absentee.