RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In an emergency meeting, the State Board of Elections voted to extend voting hours for a Craven County polling place.
The State Board of Elections said the River Bend precinct at the River Bend Municipal Building ran out of ballots. Damon Circosta chair for the SBE said during the emergency meeting that Craven County officials had a ballot-on-demand printer they were able to utilize to create more ballots.
State statues require polling places to be open for a specific number of hours. That statute allows the SBE to extend time if voting is interrupted by at least 15 minutes. Voting may be extended for the equal amount of time voting was disrupted.
The River Bend precinct was disrupted for 25 minutes. In that time, SBE said 15 voters left the site when they learned there were no more ballots. It is unknown if those voters later returned.
SBE voted to extend voting by 25 minutes at the Craven County site– closing it at 7:55 p.m. rather than 7:30 p.m.
“When these things happen, I think its incumbent upon us to do what we can to make sure every precinct and every voter is on equal footing and so that why I made the motion I did,” said Circosta.
Voters who arrive after 7:30 p.m. will vote on a provisional ballot. Those who are in line by 7:30 p.m. would still vote a regular ballot.
Craven County will not release any preliminary results until precinct closes.
Tommy Tucker, a member of the board, asked why voting was not extended an hour like the other precinct earlier today. Circosta explained those precincts were interrupted by over an hour.