The New Hanover County Board of Elections convened Thursday to plan for the 2013 Municipal Elections. While the board voted unanimously in favor of one-stop voting this November, the types of polling places to be used presented a more complex issue to navigate.
Because New Hanover County is geographically small, options for public polling places—those supported by tax revenue—for voters of its 43 precincts are limited. However, elections director Marvin McFadyen says the new three-member board prefers to enlist public facilities, as they cannot restrict use of electioneering materials such as campaign signage. In the past, the primary type of private polling facility has been churches. A member of the public spoke out during the meeting of the Board against the controversial use of churches, venues he says leaves some voters feeling uncomfortable and unwelcome. The board will meet to resume the discussion next Thursday.