RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A judge has ordered North Carolina election officials to extend the deadline to register to vote in 36 eastern counties of the state because of disruptions caused by Hurricane Matthew. The order Friday came in response to a lawsuit filed by the North Carolina Democratic Party.
The party sued State Board of Elections executive director Kim Strach in county court Friday, which is the current deadline for voter registration. A hearing on a request to extend registration to next Wednesday was held Friday afternoon.
Strach decided earlier this week to keep the Friday deadline, but told county boards to accept registration applications mailed to them until Wednesday afternoon as long as the applications were dated Friday.
The party’s attorneys had argued that people should have until Wednesday to turn in their forms in person at county-elections and other government offices.
People who decide to vote early will be able to register the same day. Early voting begins Thursday.
The counties with extended registration are: