LAURINBURG — County election officials have set the dates for early voting for the Nov. 8 general election during their meeting on Friday.
The Scotland County Board of Elections discussed the One Stop, early voting schedule which will begin on Thursday, Oct. 20 and continue until Nov. 5, the last Saturday before the Tuesday election, Director Dell Parker explained.
Scotland County voters have used One Stop quite a bit, according to a report board members received about early voting trends in recent presidential elections.
In 2008, of the approximately 23,000 registered voters in Scotland County, more than 14,000 voted in the election. Nearly 9,000 of those were cast at One Stop.
In 2012, the numbers were nearly identical — again with more than half of those who cast ballots using One Stop early voting. In the 2014 election, which was not a presidential election, about half of the approximately 10,000 voters in the county cast ballots in One Stop voting.
There is only one location in Scotland County for early voting: the building that houses the board’s offices: Board of Elections Conference Room, County Annex Building, 231 East Cronly St., Laurinburg.
“We’ve never had a line around the building,” said Board chairman Hal Culberson.
Parker said based on past elections, the busiest days for early voting tend to be the first day and the last Friday prior to the election. The office will add hours on those two days to accomodate voters. Early voting will be held from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on both Oct. 20 and on Nov. 4, she said.
Throughout the rest of the early voting period, the office will be open and available to voters nine hours per day, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., with no break for lunch.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in July stopped Voter ID in North Carolina, so with a couple of exceptions to the rule, voters will not have to show a photo ID, Parker said.
“When a person registers for the very first time, the voter registration card asks for either their North Carolina driver’s license number or their North Carolina ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number,” Parker said.
When the information is entered into the database, it will show that it is validated or not validated, she said.
“If it does not validate and it’s their very first time voting, when they come in they will be required to show us a form of photo ID,” Parker said. “When they receive their voter card that is mailed to them from here, if they fall in that category, that voter card shows that an ID must be provided before voting.”
Gov. Pat McCrory has asked for a stay on the federal court’s ruling, Parker said, so if the U.S. Supreme Court granted the stay, the rules for the upcoming election would revert back to requiring all voters to have a photo ID.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-506-3169.