News: Quick Takes

State elections board stepping in to help counties hit by Florence

Several counties hard hit by Hurricane Florence can’t send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters for the Nov. 6 election. So the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement is taking on that task.

“We are assessing emergency options, and our team is committed to assisting county boards and voters in the affected areas,” Kim Westbrook Strach, state board executive director, said in a news release Monday, Sept. 17.

The individual counties were not named in the release. But it said storm-related flooding, power and internet outages, or inaccessibility due to the storm prodded the state board to step in.

State elections board staff contacted elections officials in all 100 counties Monday to assess weather conditions and potential effects on the 2018 elections.

They also contacted leaders of the state’s five recognized political parties to maintain communication about conditions caused by Hurricane Florence.

Most county boards of elections are sending absentee ballots to military and overseas voters who have requested them.

The state board also reminded voters of their options. Any registered voter may:

Meanwhile, the Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the N.C. State Conference of Branches of the NAACP, announced Monday the organization will provide absentee ballot applications to registered voters in parts of the state with heavy storm damage. Those areas have some of the largest percentages of African-American and Latino populations.