Voter registration ends FridayPublished 8:58am Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Time is short if you have yet to register to vote for the May 6 Primary.
The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina is 25 days before the day of the election. That means Friday, April 11 is the last day for those wishing to cast ballots for local, district, and state candidates, either Democratic or Republican. All local elections offices in the Roanoke-Chowan area will close at 5 p.m. that day.
Registration requirements include that a person making an application must have been a resident of the county in which they will vote for at least 30 days prior to the election and be 18 years of age or older by Nov. 4, 2014 (the day of the General Election).
Registration forms received in the local elections offices or postmarked by the April 11 deadline will be accepted as valid applications for the upcoming election. Also, agency and DMV voter registration transactions that are completed by the deadline are accepted as valid for the upcoming election. Applicants will be notified by the county board of elections of their precinct and polling place assignments.
During the voting process (either One-Stop or on May 6), for those registered as Unaffiliated, you can choose to cast either a Democratic Party ballot or Republican Party ballot, but not both. If an Unaffiliated voter does not request a ballot for a particular political party, they will be offered a non-partisan ballot.
Due to recent changes in North Carolina laws, there will be no voter registration during the One-Stop early voting period. One-Stop Voting begins on Thursday, April 24, and ends on Saturday, May 3.
“That’s different than years past because of a massive elections overhaul law passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in 2013,” said Brent Laurenz, Executive Director of the N.C.Center for Voter Education. “The new law, which makes many significant changes to voting rules and elections in the state, eliminates same-day voter registration.”
In years past, same-day registration allowed citizens who missed the registration deadline to register and vote during the early voting period in their county. Now that it’s been eliminated, anyone wishing to vote absolutely must be registered by the deadline.
“In 2012, close to 100,000 North Carolinians took advantage of same-day registration in order to vote, so it’s not an insignificant number of people who may be affected by this change in our voting laws,” Laurenz noted. “The upcoming May primary will be the first test of the new law, and everyone from the political parties to nonprofit organizations to media outlets will have to do their part to ensure citizens are aware of the change and register to vote before the deadline if they wish to cast a ballot in the primary.”
One-Stop locations in the Roanoke-Chowan area are as follows:
Bertie County Board of Elections Office (210 West Watson Street, Windsor). Hours are 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 through Friday, May 2 (not open on Sundays) and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.
Powellsville Town Hall (106 East Main Street, Powellsville). Hours are 2-6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, May 1-2; and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.
Merry Hill-Midway Fire Department (109 NC Hwy 45 North, Merry Hill). Hours are 2-6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, May 1-2; and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.
Lewiston Woodville Fire & EMS (103 West Church Street, Lewiston Woodville). Hours are 2-6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, May 1-2; and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.
Gates County Administrative Conference room (200 Court Street, Gatesville). Hours are 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday; and 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Gates County Public Library (14 Cypress Creek Drive, Gatesville). Hours are 12 noon until 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 1-8 p.m. on Wednesday; and 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Hertford County Cooperative Extension Service (301 West Tryon Street, Winton). Hours are 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26; 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, April 28 through Friday, May 2; and Saturday, May 3 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Northampton County Board of Elections Office (J.W. Faison Administrative Building, 9495 NC Hwy 305, Jackson). Hours are 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 through Friday, May 2 (no Sundays); and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.
EE OdomCenter (221 Craig Street, Gaston). Hours are 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 through Friday, May 2 (no Sundays); and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.
In all counties, the last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, April 29. Those ballots need to be in the hands of county election officials by Tuesday, May 6, which is the date of the Primary.
Those waiting to vote on May 6, polls will be open throughout the Roanoke-Chowan area from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. The majority of polling places are located at their traditional locations with the exception of two….in Northampton County, the Potecasi Precinct has moved from Pine Forest Rest Home to the Potecasi Community Center (611 Griffintown Road, Potecasi), and the Pleasant Hill Precinct has moved from Highland Gardens Assisted Living to Faithful Band Baptist Church (1233 Cornwallis Road, Pleasant Hill).
Along with eliminating same-day voter registration, the sweeping elections overhaul law statewide also instituted a new voter ID requirement. However, it’s important to remember that in 2014 voters will not be required to present a photo ID before voting. The photo ID requirement does not take effect until 2016.
“With the May 6 primary fast approaching, it’s essential that all citizens make sure they are registered to vote prior to the April 11 deadline. If you miss the deadline, you will not be able to vote in the primary. And everyone deserves to have their voice heard in our elections,” Laurenz concluded.