No action was taken at a Thursday evening, Sept. 16, emergency meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Elections after it clarified that the door of Rep. Heath Shuler’s congressional office was 25 feet away from the door of a planned early-voting location at 199 College St. in downtown Asheville. The board called the meeting in response to complaints by the Buncombe County GOP that the proximity of the two offices could possibly violate state law that requires a buffer zone between voting sites and election-related activity.
Asheville City Councilman Bill Russell changed his party affiliation from Republican to Unaffiliated this afternoon at the offices of the Buncombe County Board of Elections. “My job on council is non-partisan by nature,” he told Xpress. “Party politics has recently become more of a distraction than anything positive.”
The local political season will officially open at 8 a.m. on Monday with the start of the candidate filing period for people seeking seats on Asheville City Council and a host of other local town boards.
Due to record voter turnout, the Buncombe County Board of Elections has extended voting hours on the final day of the early voting period. Voters can now register and cast a ballot at the 15 early voting locations until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1.
Citing a lack of evidence, the Buncombe County Board of Elections voted 2-1 in a tense meeting this afternoon to dismiss complaints by the Buncombe County Republican Party that election law was violated when James Taylor concert tickets were given away at three polling locations.
The Buncombe County Republican Party will submit complaints alleging that election law was violated when James Taylor concert tickets were given away “at several polling locations,” according to a statement issued this afternoon.
According to statistics released by the Buncombe County Board of Elections, 14,415 new voters have registered since early February. The vast majority (98 percent) of the new voters are registered as Democrats (7,355) or unaffiliated (6,765). The number of registered Republicans stayed roughly the same, going up by 186 new voters.
With a gain of 603,000 new voters in the state, the most people ever are eligible to vote in North Carolina 2008 general election.
Summary of the Sept. 16 Buncombe County Commissioners meeting