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The Daily Tar Heel

Sofia Lesnewski

City & State

Higher rate of deficiencies reported in absentee ballots cast by Black voters in NC

As the election approaches, there have been concerns about racial disparities in absentee ballot deficiency rates.  The North Carolina State Board of Elections  reports that 3.5 percent of non-Hispanic Black voters and 2.6 percent of Hispanic voters have had their ballots deemed deficient, compared to one percent of non-Hispanic white voters. “I’m sure there are consequences of historical, systemic oppression that sort of plays into that as well in terms of just access to the ballots and familiarity with election procedures,” said Jeff Loperfido, senior counsel for voting rights at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice Voters can track the status of their mail-in ballots using BallotTrax. 


Town officials, students concerned about uncertainty of off-campus COVID-19 reporting

Uncertainty regarding the accuracy of off-campus students’ COVID-19 testing and reporting persists. Carrboro Town Council Member Randee Haven-O’Donnell said she is concerned about the accuracy of off-campus student case reporting. Taylor Steele, a senior at UNC who lives in off-campus apartment complex Chapel Ridge, said she believes there are cases at Chapel Ridge, even though she said she hasn’t received any notification from the apartment complex about testing, reporting or positive cases.  Courtney Schnee, the senior vice president and asset manager at Northwood Ravin, said Northwood Ravin has taken several steps to limit the spread of coronavirus at its Chapel Hill properties, including using hospital-grade sanitizing misters and restricting the capacity of amenities such as the pool.

triangle homelessness

Social assistance organizations in the Triangle refocus efforts amid COVID-19 outbreak

As individuals in the Triangle experiencing homelessness navigate increased unemployment and widespread closures during the COVID-19 outbreak, the organizations that serve them are working to respond — all while following social distancing guidelines. These groups are grappling with how to provide housing and services to those who need it most, and they know need isn't going to slow down any time soon. “For many of us, this time is a matter of staying at home and missing out on certain activities,”  Stephani Kilpatrick, residential services director at the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service,  said. “But for IFC’s members, it could mean that basic needs are not met.” 

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pine knolls

Pine Knolls is a historically Black neighborhood just west of Merritt Mill Road, where UNC provided housing for some janitorial staff and subsidies for other Black workers facing postwar hardship.

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