The North Carolina General Statutes defines the procedures for mapping precincts and locating voting locations inside the precinct. We are required to take numerous criteria into account as we develop new precincts. The boundaries drawn must be contiguous and follow a recognized boundary such as a township line, census blocks or physical features such as major above-ground power lines, major footpaths, rail features, ridgelines, roads or streets or water or drainage features as certified by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, county manager or city clerk.
Voting locations must be inside or on a tract adjacent to the precinct. It must also fit certain criteria:
- Americans with Disabilities Act compliant
- Have ample parking and lighting
- Be large enough to accommodate the voting equipment and polling place layout
- The Traffic flow must be reviewed for safety and convenience.
We utilize as many public facilities as we possibly can to reduce rental cost but some areas, because of growth, have not caught up with the public demands such as schools or libraries.
When changing a voting location all of the criteria listed above is considered. After the Board of Elections staff completes its survey of the areas for consideration, the location changes are submitted to the Board of Elections members for approval or denial. The Board of Elections has the power to
establish, define, provide, rearrange, discontinue, and combine election precincts as it may deem expedient, (GS 163-33(4)).
If the Board of Elections approves the location change or split of an existing precinct, the voters must be notified no later than 45 days prior to the next primary or election. Voters involved in any district or annexation changes are also notified by voter card of those changes.
No matter what process is used to determine the precinct boundaries, not everyone will be happy with the outcome. We’ve learned this the hard way. There is, however, very little we can do with a phone complaint.
If you have any issues or concerns regarding the precinct locations, it needs to be in writing to the Burke Board of Elections, so that the matter can be fully explored and brought to some resolution when our Board is sitting in session. Our mailing address is:
Burke County Elections
P.O. Box 798
Morganton, NC 28655