Within hours of Gov. Pat McCrory signing a Republican-backed bill this week making sweeping changes to the state’s voting laws, local elections boards in two college towns made moves that could make it harder for students to vote.
The Watauga County Board of Elections voted Monday to eliminate an early voting site and election-day polling precinct on the campus of Appalachian State University.
The Pasquotank County Board of Elections on Tuesday barred an Elizabeth City State University senior from running for city council, ruling his on-campus address couldn’t be used to establish local residency. Following the decision, the head of the county’s Republican Party said he plans to challenge the voter registrations of more students at the historically black university ahead of upcoming elections.
As reported today in the Elizabeth City Daily Advance, the Pasquotank County Board of Elections has taken the first step towards a ruling that students living in a college dorm are not permanent residents — in this instance, for purposes of running for City Council. But the residency requirements for a candidate are the same as those for a voter.
When asked if he planned extensive challenges of student voters following the city election, County GOP Chair Pete Gilbert, who challenged the student-candidate’s residency, said he planned to “look at one-stop voters,” but declined further comment on the matter.