BOONE — With no more than a week before municipal voting sites open their doors on Nov. 2, the North Carolina Court of Appeals officially ordered Wednesday for Appalachian State to be able to designate an early voting site on campus.
According to the Watauga Democrat, the battle for on-campus early voting was picked up Oct. 19 with N.C. Court of Appeals clerk Daniel M. Horne Jr. signing a court order meant to prevent an Oct. 16 order, created by Wake County Superior Court Judge Graham Shirley II, allowing Appalachian State to place an early voting site at the Plemmons Student Union.
The prevention motion was originally filed by Watauga County Board of Elections chair Bill Aceto concerning the case brought forward by fellow member Stella Anderson, which proposed that Appalachian would have an early voting site, in addition to the original courthouse site.
According to High Country Press, the quest for early voting for Appalachian State’s campus started in September when Anderson and Republican Nancy Owen voted for a one-stop voting site on campus, but fellow Board of Elections member Bill Aceto did not vote in-favor.
Being that the decision to the proposition was not unanimous, it was brought to the State Board of Elections.
“Since the State Board is currently vacant, I petitioned the Wake County Superior Court for adoption of the plan for a campus early voting site,” Anderson said. The board was recreated through Gov. Cooper’s lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the recent law.
According to Anderson, the petition was granted by Wake County Judge Graham Shirley II, which was then appealed by Bill Aceto to the N.C. Board of Appeals.
Thus, Aceto’s appeal for a temporary hold on on-campus early voting was put in place until a three-judge Court of Appeals panel could discuss the legalities.
“Granting the temporary stay until the matter can be further considered and a permanent stay granted or denied is, I understand, the usual practice,” Anderson said.
In a turn of events, however, the N.C. Court of Appeals released official order on Wednesday which stated that Aceto’s hold for on-campus early voting has been denied in time for the municipal early voting.
“The [voter] turnout so far at the courthouse has been very low. I would expect that the overall participation in the Town of Boone elections will increase with a campus site,” Anderson said. “In fact, the Town of Boone requested a campus early voting site for that very reason — to increase voter participation in the Town of Boone elections.”
On-campus early municipal voting began Thursday in the Blue Ridge Ballroom of the Plemmons Student Union from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will go on until Friday. Another round of voting will go on from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3.
Story by; Christina Beals, Intern Opinion Writer