EASTERN NC – Holding special congressional elections on a random Tuesday in the middle of a cycle is already a recipe for low voter engagement and turnout. Hold those special congressional elections in eastern North Carolina in September and you’re bound to run into even more barriers to turnout. Or they’ll run into you.
Early voting for the special elections is being forced to close early in more than a dozen counties across North Carolina’s Third and Ninth Congressional Districts because of Hurricane Dorian.
In all, 15 counties have adjusted schedules for the second hurricane to impact the Old North State in as many years.
- Carteret County voting sites are closed through Friday.
- Chowan County will end early voting at noon Thursday.
- Craven County will end early voting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
- Cumberland County early voting ends at 1 p.m. Thursday, but no decision has been made on whether to open early voting sites on Friday.
- Dare County voting sites are closed through Friday.
- Greene County elections officials planned to meet Wednesday evening to consider possible changes to early voting.
- Hyde County voting sites are closed through Friday.
- Jones County ends early voting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
- Lenoir County voting sites are closed through Friday.
- Onslow County early voting ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
- Pamlico County early voting ends at 7 p.m. Wednesday. County elections officials plan to meet Saturday morning to consider possible changes to polling sites for Election Day.
- Pasquotank County early voting ends at 5 p.m. Thursday.
- Pitt County elections officials plan to meet Wednesday evening to determine whether to make any early voting changes because of Dorian.
- Robeson County early voting sites close at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, while the county elections office closes at 5:15 p.m.
- Scotland County early voting ends at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Beyond the early voting schedule, many of these counties could be in bad shape heading into election day next Tuesday, with voters more focused on recovery than politics.
If you live in these districts and haven’t voted already, hopefully Dorian will spare you chance to head to the polls on Tuesday.