Voter-challenges hearing cancelled

Published 2:45 am Monday, November 7, 2016

The Beaufort County Board of Elections has cancelled a hearing it scheduled for 5 p.m. today as the result of a federal judge’s order regarding voter challenges.

The board had planned to address 14 voter challenges continued from the voter-challenge hearing it conducted Oct. 29, the second hearing it conducted on voter challenges.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs, who presided over a hearing Wednesday concerning a lawsuit filed by the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, issued an order requiring the state and local boards of elections to return voters who had been challenged and removed from voter rolls to those rolls.

In Beaufort County, 138 voters were challenged, with about 60 being removed from voter rolls after hearings.

Also on Friday, Josh Lawson, attorney for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, said the state has not yet decided whether it will appeal facets of the ruling, potentially after the election.

The board will meet at 5 p.m. today to consider approving absentee ballots for the general election, which is Tuesday.