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Dare Board of Elections looks at alternative voting sites

The Dare County Board of Elections voted to move forward with exploratory plans to seek alternative polling sites for the November election. The move came after a committee report that identified area school gyms and auditoriums as a safer environment for voters to cast their ballots.

The committee also recommended that some polling precincts be combined. The possible need for alternative voting sites is in response to COVID-19 concerns and the need for larger polling stations to provide social distancing for voters and poll workers. The election board also approved a plan to install sneeze guards between the election workers and voters. Before the plan could be implemented, it would need local school and state election board approval.

The action came amid a contentious meeting on June 17 that saw election board members spending the majority of the meeting sparring with each other regarding charges of illegal executive sessions and conflicts of interest.

In spite of the apparent personality driven conflicts and rancor on display, Dare County elections director Michele Barnes is confident the county will be able to provide a safe election in November for both poll workers and voters.

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