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Board of Elections hears about Dublin snafu, town out of One-Stop voting

By Erin Smith

The Bladen County Board of Elections met on Tuesday afternoon and learned the town of Dublin will opt out of One Stop Voting.

Board of Elections Director Cynthia Shaw told the board that the Board of Elections office received a letter on July 21 from the Town of Dublin signed by the town clerk.

“This letter was saying they would be participating in the One Stop and mail absentee voting. The last time they did not do that, they opted out,” said Shaw.

She told the board that last week she had a member of the Dublin Town board come to the Board of Elections office and question the letter from the town clerk.

“I never question a letter I get from a clerk because the clerk works for the town board,” said Shaw.

Board of Elections member Bobby Ludlum said the Board of Elections conducts elections on behalf of the towns.

Shaw said the town councilman told the Board of Elections staff the town council had not met on the matter.

Shaw said that the councilman returned to the Board of Elections office a couple of days later and delivered a letter dated Oct. 12 and signed by Dublin Mayor Horace Wyatt stating the town will opt out of One Stop voting. Shaw said she contacted the State Board of Elections office in Raleigh about the matter.

Shaw said the guidance received from the State Board of Elections office indicated that neither letter was “any good” because the board did not meet to discuss the matter either time. She said the State Board ruled that because in the 2015 election the town opted out of One Stop voting, they can opt out again this year.

Shaw said she was involved in a conference call with the Dublin board on Monday night and she shared with them what the State Board of Elections had ruled. Shaw said the local Board of Elections staff had mailed out 38 absentee ballots. Of those, 30 have been returned and will be allowed to count. She added four more ballots have identification issues and the remaining four have not been returned.

In other business, Shaw updated the board that mock elections take place on Friday. She said the mock election requires her staff to send information to the State Board of Elections in Raleigh at certain intervals as if it were an actual election.

The Board voted to wait to review absentee ballots until the next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24.


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