RALEIGH, N.C. -- Election Day voting in Boone is expected to go back to the way it was last year, but an early voting site at Appalachian State University will be closed.
The Republican-controlled state board of elections voted Tuesday to uphold a decision from the Watauga County Board of Elections that combined two early voting sites into one, at the Watauga County Administration Building. County board member Kathleen Campbell, a Democrat, argued that the single site did not have enough parking. But some members of the state board said the two sites, within a half-mile of each other, were excessive.
The meeting room in Raleigh was filled for the nearly two-hour hearing. At times, state board members chided the local board for the way they conducted business at past meetings. "You better start getting along," said State Board of Elections Chair Josh Howard. "We don't want to see you on YouTube again."
Howard was referring to online video of the Watauga board's August 12 meeting, in which the new board voted along party lines to combine Boone’s three precincts into one. That decision removed the polling place at the Plemmons Student Union on campus, and left a single polling place open within Boone city limits on Election Day: the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center on the town’s west side. The precinct would have had 9,340 active and inactive voters in it. The polling place has 28 parking spaces.
But at the beginning of Tuesday's meeting in Raleigh, Watauga Elections Board Chair Luke Eggers said he would introduce a resolution that would undo the board's August 12th decision. Eggers cited misinformation, while fellow Republican board member Bill Aceto said after getting feedback, the board needed more time to study the issue.
Eggers will introduce the resolution at a Watauga County Board of Elections meeting Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Boone.