Three-Hour Wait to Vote at N.C. State Location Eddie Woodhouse Said Was Unnecessary | News

Three-Hour Wait to Vote at N.C. State Location Eddie Woodhouse Said Was Unnecessary


  • Paul Blest/INDY Week
Voters at North Carolina State's polling location, the Creative Services Building, on Varsity Drive, waited three hours or more on Friday night to cast their ballots one day before the end of early voting.

Alexandra Henry, who had just voted, said she waited three hours to vote in line.

"When I got here at 2:30, it was a two-and-a-half-hour wait," Democratic volunteer Tom Wason told the INDY. "Now it's three." Wason said there were sixteen voting machines inside.

Wason, who said he's volunteered in other years, said he'd never seen anything like the scene that unfolded today, and that he had voted at the same location last week in less than thirty minutes. "It's obscene," he said. "Just obscene."

Wake County Commissioner John Burns, who was volunteering for the Democrats, pointed out that Wake County Board of Elections member Eddie Woodhouse, cousin of N.C. GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse, tried to remove this early voting location from the list at the BOE's emergency meeting after the voter ID law was struck down.

The Technician wrote about that in August:
On Aug. 8, the Wake County Board of Elections held an emergency conference call meeting, notifying the public of the meeting less than 90 minutes before the meeting occurred. There, in a party-line vote, the board voted to open a single voting site for the extra week of early voting required from the federal appeals court ruling.

The notion that a single voting site in a county of just under a million people is adequate is ridiculous. Four years ago, five Wake County early voting locations were open for early voting for the same week. The 80 percent reduction again sends the message that a citizen’s right and ease to vote is not valued in our state.

Then, in the same meeting, newly appointed republican board member Eddie Woodhouse motioned to remove the early voting site planned on NC State’s campus. Following advice from his cousin, Dallas Woodhouse, who wrote, in the same “party line changes” email referenced earlier, that “no group of people are entitled to their own early voting site, including college students, who already have more voting options than most other citizens.”
Woodhouse's motion, along with one to eliminate Sunday early voting hours, was shot down by both Republican chair Ellis Boyle and Democrat Mark Ezzell.

"[N.C. State] is a traditionally heavy voting site," Burns said.  "This was challenged as unnecessary and you're looking at a three and a half hour line because N.C. State kids want to vote...but one thing is that we need to communicate that there are other sites."

Twenty-one-year-old N.C. State student Tripp Oliphant, who was with friends, said it was his first time voting in a presidential election.

"We've been here about two and a half hours," he said.

When I left, there were still at least fifty people ahead of them.

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