North Carolina’s State Board of Elections announced on Friday that early voting hours would be extended in counties impacted by Hurricane Dorian ahead of the critical race in the state’s 9th District.
State Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell used her emergency powers to add early voting hours to Bladen, Robeson, Cumberland and Scotland counties.
The board this week had closed early voting sites in Robeson, Bladen and Scotland counties because of Dorian.
“I have ordered affected counties in this district to open today and Saturday to make up for some of the missed hours of early voting and allow voters to same-day register if needed,” Bell said in a statement. “This is an important election, so we encourage all eligible voters to make their voices heard.”
The storm made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane over Cape Hatteras in North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Friday.
North Carolina’s 9th District will vote on Tuesday, in a do-over of the 2018 race whose results were tossed out because of widespread ballot fraud. The race is widely seen as neck-and-neck in what has traditionally been a Republican stronghold.
Democratic candidate Dan McCready and the state’s Democratic Party called for early voting hours to be extended on Thursday, arguing that all votes needed to be taken into consideration.
Republican candidate Dan Bishop’s campaign also called for early voting to be extended.
The state’s 3rd District will also vote on Tuesday in a race to replace Rep. Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesRepublican Greg Murphy wins special election in NC’s 3rd District Early voting extended in NC counties impacted by Dorian ahead of key House race The Hill’s Campaign Report: North Carolina special election poses test for GOP ahead of 2020 MORE (R), who died earlier this year. But state Rep. Greg Murphy (R) is widely expected to win that race.
North Carolina has dealt with hurricanes battering the state amid campaigns and elections. The state’s voters cast their ballots in the wake of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018.
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