- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The North Carolina Board of Elections voted during an emergency after-hours meeting to extend voting hours in two counties as a result of issues encountered shortly after the polls opened Tuesday morning.

State elections officials described computer problems that set back that start of voting and forced elections workers to fall back on a paper check-in process.
Polls had been set to close across North Carolina at 7:30 p.m.

The state board voted to extend voting by between an hour to 20 minutes in eight precincts in Durham County. Officials described delays of up to 2 hours during which no votes could be cast in some precincts. Durham County Board of Elections Chair Bill Brian told the News and Observer that the county had to take its electronic voting system off-line after problems popped up at several precincts. Poll workers were unable to look up digital voter registration information and had to turn to paper records. But Mr. Brian said some precincts ran out of paper forms, effectively halting voting.

State board officials debated for nearly an hour before voting to keep polls open. Officials asked whether poll workers determined whether voters left without voting, and how long precincts were down before making their determination.

Their decision came after the Durham County Board Elections asked that voting be extended by 90 minutes in the eight precincts.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign also urged the board of elections to extend voting hours in Durham on Tuesday.

“The Durham County Board of Elections — made up of two Republicans and one Democrat — has agreed that voting hours must be extended due to technical problems that occurred earlier today,” Campaign Manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “We are urging the North Carolina Board of Elections to heed this bipartisan call and approve this urgent measure so that every voter can have their voice heard.”

The state board also voted to extend voting by 30 minutes in one precinct in Columbus County after poll workers encountered problems with a printer that delayed opening by 45 minutes. Officials said there was a significant line when polls opened and several individuals who indicated that they were unable to wait to vote.

The Columbus County Board of Elections had unanimously asked to stay open for an additional 45 minutes.

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