More on Florence voting difficulties: Out of county, out of luck?

Depending on the Statutes, this might be another Special Session need:

North Carolina’s robust early voting schedule this year should help, but that won’t be an option for voters who end up staying far from their home county. Current rules require you to use only the early voting sites in the county where you’re registered. State leaders should consider allowing voters from affected counties to cast provisional ballots across the state.

That likely creates a logistical hassle, but it would provide flexibility for people who might not be able to return to their home county just to vote.

And I just (before reading the above) sent a follow-up e-mail to the NC BOE suggesting this very thing. The truth is, with all these satellite early voting sites drawing information from the same state-wide database, there's no major technical challenge to allowing people to early vote out-of-county. But after a brief perusal of the Statutes in question, the General Assembly may need to add some wording to make that allowable. I've yet to see a "you must vote in your county" directive, but the chain of custody (voter to county, county to state) seems to preclude that.



Definitely related:

Good job, jerks. Fewer sites, farther to travel, and now Florence. Grrr.

Two and a half things...

1. When you vote provisional, you vote the ballot for the precinct where you are voting. The statewide judicial and the amendments are on every ballot so those would all count. US Congress and on down may or may not apply - depending on how far the voter is from home.
1.5 All ballot styles are on the internet. If you're going to have the NCGA modify the provisional rules for Florence refugees, go all in! Make them provide the appropriate ballot. (Do I think this will be done? Do I know the difficulties involved? No to both questions)

2. The 7a-7p requirement imposed by "small gov't!" NCGA was the reason we reduced to only one EV polling place. We're a little county and could not shoulder that added personnel expense.

Here's the thing...

When you get (and sign) your early voting document, it has your precinct code on it. The individual who sets up the voting machine picks the right series for your particular ballot. It's at that point where the problem needs to be solved. In addition to the set number of precincts that volunteer can currently choose (all inside the county), there could(?) be an "other" input option. Not sure how hard that would be, but you would really only need one machine per location with that feature.

Aha! We use paper ballots...

With the paper ballots they have to have stacks of the ballots for each precinct (seems silly bc all our precincts get the same ballot - the only difference is the precinct name at the top).
But since we only have 1 OSEV site, I think that could simplify getting one configurable machine. (NB: I have never been a poll-worker for the BoE and I realize that tasks that might sound easy-peasy to me are most def not.)

Yeah, I have no idea how hard that would be...

Or if it's even possible. I'm an "idea" guy, I let the techies and computer geeks figure out the nuts & bolts.

In other words, I'm worse than useless, I'm a time-consuming nightmare waiting to happen. :)

But I'm nice about it, in a passive-aggressive sort of way: "I have confidence in your ability to accomplish this difficult task."