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SBE: Statement On Durham County

nc-state-board-of-electionsRALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina State Board of Elections Office early Tuesday directed Durham County to use paper poll books throughout the day after technical problems with electronic poll books were encountered in some precincts.

The issue arose with the electronic poll books used to check in voters when they present to vote. It had nothing to do with ballots. Durham County uses paper ballots.

Later in the morning, the Bethesda Ruritan Club precinct in Durham County ran out of authorization to vote forms (ATVs), the cards signed by voters when they present to vote. This issue was a result of the switch to paper poll books. It has been addressed.

The State Board Office has been in constant communication with Durham elections officials and has sent staff to assist throughout the day. Durham County employees have been dispatched to Durham precincts to ensure they have the supplies they need and to collect information about voting disruptions in each precinct, if any.

The five-member State Board of Elections is expected to meet later Tuesday to consider any requests from the counties to extend voting hours. The State Board has the authority to extend voting times, but only under certain conditions set out in state law. (See the statute below governing that process.) A notice will be sent when a meeting is officially scheduled.

Durham elections officials have not reported significant wait times in most precincts throughout most of the day Tuesday.

§ 163-166.01.  Hours for voting.

In every election, the voting place shall be open at 6:30 A.M. and shall be closed at 7:30 P.M. If the polls are delayed in opening for more than 15 minutes, or are interrupted for more than 15 minutes after opening, the State Board of Elections may extend the closing time by an equal number of minutes. As authorized by law, the State Board of Elections shall be available either in person or by teleconference on the day of election to approve any such extension. If any voter is in line to vote at the time the polls are closed, that voter shall be permitted to vote. No voter shall be permitted to vote who arrives at the voting place after the closing of the polls.

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