Perquimans precinct voters redirected to another precinct after elections official backs out


A sign outside the Perquimans County Courthouse informs voters in East Hertford Precinct that they will have to cast ballots in today's 3rd Congressional District special election at West Hertford Precinct at Louise's Event Center


By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

HERTFORD — Perquimans County voters in East Hertford Precinct who normally cast their ballot at the county courthouse were instead directed this morning to vote at Louise’s Event Center because the chief judge for the courthouse precinct “backed out” of the job, the county elections director said.

Elections Director Holly Hunter said she was informed of the chief judge’s decision Monday night about 6 p.m. She did not know the reason for the election judge’s decision and declined to name the official.

“I don’t want to put them through that,” she said.

The five-member Perquimans Board of Elections made the call to consolidate the voting precincts because a replacement chief judge could not be found in time, Hunter said.

The chief judge “basically controls everything that happens at the precinct,” she said.

Louise’s Event Center, the voting site for West Hertford precinct, is located at 1132 Don Juan Road, about three miles away from the courthouse.

There is a sign at the courthouse announcing the change and election officials borrowed a car from Social Services to shuttle people to and from the courthouse to the events center if they don’t have transportation.

Election workers said at 9:30 a.m. that they had redirected about eight East Hertford voters to the West Hertford precinct.

There are 932 voters registered for the East Hertford precinct, and it wasn’t immediately clear how many of those cast a ballot during early voting.

The Perquimans elections board is made up of three Democrats — Vera Murrill, Mae McGee and Bobby Siller — and two Republicans — John McGowan and Shirley Ashworth. Murrill serves as chairman and McGowan is the board’s secretary.

Democrats also make up the largest share of voters in East Hertford, with 491. There are 146 Republicans, 214 unaffiliated and one Libertarian. The precinct is also evenly split between black voters (416) and white voters (414).