09/06/12 — Voting dates affect polls

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Voting dates affect polls

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 6, 2012 1:46 PM

One of the county's one-stop polling sites in advance of the Nov. 6 general election could have to be relocated because of two possible scheduling conflicts including the addition of Sunday one-stop voting.

Sunday voting had not been included in the local board's original one-stop voting plan. However, the state Board of Elections, along party lines, voted 3-2 Tuesday to include Sunday, Oct. 28.

Wednesday morning's local board meeting was the first for Goldsboro attorney Billy Strickland, who Tuesday was sworn in as the board's new Republican member. He fills the slot left open by Hal Keck who stepped down because of health reasons.

"I know we had a conflict with First Congregational Church on a Friday," board member Chris Gurley said during the meeting. "If we had a conflict on that day, are we going to have a conflict on that Sunday? I think if we have a conflict on that Friday, we definitely have a conflict on Sunday.

"We don't want to be accused of interfering with any worship service. I can take the heat now, but I don't want to take the heat later."

It is possible that the polling location will have to be relocated from First Congregational Church.

Gurley also asked if there were any concerns about poll workers since it was only one Sunday.

"We are in the process right now of letting our poll workers know what the schedule is so that if there are some who cannot, or will not, work on Sunday -- we will make adjustments," said Beverly York, the board's interim director. "We will find folks to put into those slots."

"I don't know how it works, but since the state overruled the board is the state funding the Sunday voting?" Gurley said.

It is not, County Attorney Borden Parker said.

The Sunday one stop will cost about $2,800, Mrs. York said.

Gurley asked what time poll workers had to arrive on site. They normally arrive an hour before voting starts and stay until an hour later, she said.

The hours for the Sunday one stop will be from 1 to 5 p.m. at all locations, she said.

The main sites are the Wayne County Public Library, 1001 E. Ash St.; First Congregational Church, 215 Sleepy Creek Road, Dudley; and Woodmen of the World Lodge 3733, U.S. 117 North, Goldsboro.

Satellite locations will be open during the final week of one stop, Oct. 29 through Nov. 3, at Fremont Town Hall and Johnston Ambulance Service on U.S. 70 West.

Mrs. York told board members her office is working on preparations for the Nov. 6 election

"A priority right now is proofing and completing the ballots," Mrs. York said. "I received the first proof (Tuesday) and forwarded it to the board for review. In very short order, we need to get that order into print. That is the first thing.

"With the approval yesterday of the one Sunday voting day during one stop, we are, of course, looking at scheduling in terms of getting our poll workers lined up to make sure that we have adequate coverage for all of our one-stop voting days."

Following the brief meeting, the board met in closed session to discuss three openings in the Board of Elections office -- director, assistant director and elections technician.

Mrs. York, a former employee of the state Board of Elections has served as interim director since early June following the resignation of Vickie Reed, who had served as director since Jan. 2, 2008.

Both Ms. Reed and Assistant Director Michael Barry resigned effective June 15.