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Thursday January 20th

On-campus voting sites considered

The Rams Head on-campus voting site is in jeopardy, and county officials are looking to the North Carolina Hillel building as a replacement.

Tracy Reams, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, said the board has looked into a couple of places close to campus like Cobb Residence Hall, but members might have a favorite.

Elections

Time: 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4
Location: 208 S. Cameron St., Hillsborough
Info: http://bit.ly/M24HX8

One of the recommendations the board has considered is the North Carolina Hillel building at 210 W. Cameron Ave., she said.

“The board met there in their last meeting to assess the site and it seems to be a favorable site,” Reams said.

“That seems to be the favorite in the meeting we had last month.”

Reams said the main reason for the possible relocation is because the Rams Head voting site does not offer curb-side voting.

“We want an on-campus voting site as much as possible that is very accessible to the students and other citizens, but we have a lot of traffic so we want to accommodate as much as we can,” she said.

Kathy Knight, the chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Elections, also said curb-side parking is important. She said they are involving the students and University in trying to locate a site.

“Curb-side parking and handicap accessible voting was the main thing,” Knight said.

Student Body President Christy Lambden attended board meetings this fall after fielding concerns that the board might eliminate early voting on campus altogether.

Lambden refused to comment for this story.

During a recent election, Knight said the Rams Head voting site had to close because of sporting events.

“This year, with the new laws we are required to have sites open on the same days,” she said.

“I do understand that there will be away games during the voting time, but they are wanting us to be consistent.”

Knight said she wants to have the best site for both students and the public.

“The Hillel house is closer to the campus and easier access for the general public,” she said.

“It is right across the street from The Carolina Inn and the (Fraternity) Court, and that is what we are looking for — something close to the campus and accessible for the students.”

Knight said the board is still trying to find something close to campus before they need to submit their plan on March 14.

“Our whole plan has to be written up and photographed before then,” she said.

Rachel Woods, a sophomore at UNC, said she would try to vote no matter where they moved the site, but said moving the voting site off-campus might prevent a lot of students from voting.

“I feel like it would be a negative thing for the students because a lot of people aren’t going to have the time to go out during the day to go off campus to vote,” she said.

“We need a place that is on campus and easily accessible.”

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