OC Board Of Elections Approves Five Early Voting Sites For May Primary

The Orange County Board of Elections has selected five early voting sites for the May 6 primary. That’s one more option than last year, and another location could be added when the state Board of Elections gives final approval Monday.

Tracy Reams, Director of the Orange County Board of Elections, says the five selected sites are Carrboro Town Hall, the Seymour Senior Center in Chapel Hill, Master’s Garden Preschool in Hillsborough, the Board of Elections Office in Hillsborough, and the North Carolina Hillel Center in Chapel Hill.

Reams says the state Board of Elections will approve those five sites.

The North Carolina Hillel Center was selected as a replacement location for last year’s on-campus early voting site, Ram’s Head Dining Hall.

Though the dining hall was convenient for students, it presented several challenges, such as compliance with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Reams says the North Carolina Hillel Center, located on W. Cameron St., is more suitable for one-stop voting.

“I think the Board chose this site because if the accessibility. It is ADA accessible. It has, what we are hoping is, adequate parking. It had the best parking of the three locations that the Board was looking at, and with the bus service being right there, we just think it would be a good site.”

The Board also considered two other campus locations to replace the Ram’s Head Dining Hall— Sonja Haynes Stone Center and Cobb Residence Hall.

“That will be decided Monday by the state Board of Elections on whether or not an alternative plan will add that sixth site, which would be Cobb Residence.”

Reams says it also important for voters to pay attention to the recent changes in North Carolina’s election laws.

People cannot register to vote during the early voting period as they could in the past.

“If anyone wants to vote early or on election day, they need to meet that April 11th registration deadline.”

House Bill 598, passed by the Republican-led General Assembly last summer, shortened the early voting period from 17 to nine days. The law also requires that all early voting sites must have identical schedules and provide the option of curbside voting.

For more information on Orange County’s early voting sites and their hours of operation, click here.


Ram’s Head Dining Hall To Be Replaced As One-Stop Early Voting Site

CHAPEL HILL – The Orange County Board of Elections is looking for a site to replace Ram’s Head Dining Hall on UNC’s campus for one-stop early voting next year.

Tracy Reams, Director of the Orange County Board of Elections, says that though the dining hall was convenient for students, it presented several challenges, such as compliance with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It is not conducive to do curbside voting there at Ram’s Head because you have to park in a parking deck and the building is actually located above the parking deck,” Reams says.

Reams says her office is working with Linda Convissor, UNC’s Director of Local Relations, to find another site on campus where student access to the polls won’t be hindered.

“We’re working with the elected officials in Chapel Hill, the students, and the administrative staff there trying to locate another site,” she says.

Due to recent State election law revisions, the early voting period in 2014 will be significantly shortened. With these changes, Reams say she wants to find a replacement site that will help make it easier to vote.

Morehead Planetarium was once used as a one-stop early site, but it was repurposed by the University and is no longer available.

The OC Board of Elections has until March 14 to pick a new site and submit its early voting plan to the State Board of Elections.

“We just want the public to know that they are welcome to attend the meetings and provide input,” Reams says. “We just hope that we can find a suitable site for everybody before that March 14 deadline.”

Reams says that the community can visit the Orange County Board of Elections website for meeting information.



Early Voting In Orange County Kicks Off Thursday

CHAPEL HILL – Early voting for the Nov. 5 municipal and Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board elections kicks off on Thursday.

Though changes are coming soon to election laws in North Carolina, Tracy Reams, Director of the Orange County Board of Elections, says that the policies will be the same for this election season.

“Most of the changes are coming into play on January 1 of 2014,” Reams says. “One of the things is that they will be eliminating same-day registration.”

Reams explains that anyone who shows up for early-voting this year can participate in same-day registration. The early voting period lasts until Saturday, Nov. 2.

“Additionally, we do have a very low turnout in the municipal elections, and we are hoping with these sites, and hours we hoping folks will utilize these early voting sites,” she says.

The four early-voting sites in Orange County are:

– The Board of Elections Office at 208 S. Cameron St., Hillsborough

– Carrboro Town Hall at 301 West Main St., Carrboro

– Rams Head Dining Hall at 320 Ridge Road, Chapel Hill

– Seymour Senior Center at 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill


All sites will be open Monday through Friday. Rams Head Dining Hall and Carrboro Town Hall will be open during the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Board of Elections will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Janice Tyler, Director of the Department of Aging, says that the Seymour Center will be open on weekdays, noon to 6 p.m.

“One of the best things about being an early voting site is that we get community folks into the Center that might otherwise never get to come in, so we get to share with them about things that happen at the Center and what the Department of Aging does,” Tyler says.

All four early voting sites will be and all will be open on November 2, from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m.

Click here for more information on the 2013 Election.