CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hundreds of Charlotte voters that live in Uptown could hit a snag this early voting period due to a recent street name change. Residents on Brooklyn Village Avenue, formerly known as Stonewall Street, may have to cast a provisional ballot in Charlotte's general election if their address causes an issue in the voting system.
That's exactly what happened to Lucas Bogg, who is a former WCNC Charlotte employee. Bogg told WCNC Charlotte that when he went to cast his ballot early for the July 26 election, his new address on Brooklyn Village Avenue caused an error at a nearby polling site.
"Folks who now have a Brooklyn Village address need to know, hey they might have an issue if they try to go and early vote,” Bogg told WCNC Charlotte's Julia Kauffman.
Bogg said voting early for an election normally takes him a few minutes, but on Monday it turned into a 45-minute ordeal.
"When it came to issue the actual ballot, the address wasn’t coming up on their map so they couldn’t necessarily issue me my ballot," Bogg said.
The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections told WCNC Charlotte there are nearly 1,200 registered voters that live on Brooklyn Village Avenue. This issue could happen to all of them. Bogg is the first resident on the street to cast a ballot in this election, which notified officials of the problem.
"This is the first time we’ve ever had a massive change like this on the cusp of an election so we’re just trying to work out the kinks,” Kristin Mavromatis with the Board said.
Mavromatis explained that the street name changed at the end of June, which was after the Board of Elections sent out voter information to the early voting locations.
As of now, voting officials are trying to figure out why the address is causing an error. In the meantime, voters like Bogg that run into issues can fill out a provisional ballot that will then be researched and verified by the board.
Bogg wasn't satisfied with filling out the provisional ballot, saying he now has to double-check to make sure his vote is counted after the election is over.
City Councilman Tariq Bokhari told WCNC Charlotte after Monday night's Council meeting that he worries this problem could discourage voters from heading to the polls in an already low turnout election.
However, Mavromatis insists provisional votes from Brooklyn Village Avenue residents will be counted. She also encourages them to vote early because the problem may persist throughout the early voting period, but it gives officials more time to fix it.
If a voter does cast a provisional ballot, they will be given a phone number to call where they can check to see if their vote was counted 10 days after the election on Aug. 5.
Mavromatis assured WCNC Charlotte that this problem will not happen on election day, which is July 26.
The city has a checklist online for Charlotte residents living on recently renamed streets to help mitigate any confusion.