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By GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina residents would have one week less to cast ballots before elections in legislation that supporters say would save money but opponents argue would discourage citizens – particularly Democrats – from voting.

The House Elections Committee narrowly approved a bill Wednesday that would delay the start of early voting from the third Thursday before an election to the second Thursday.

Rep. Bert Jones of Rockingham County is a primary sponsor of the bill and says the measure would save nearly $2,000 per one-stop voting site statewide. He also said it should save more money for candidates who now must campaign to get people to vote for 18 days.

Democratic Rep. Mickey Michaux of Durham said shortening the time was designed to decrease turnout among Democrats and black voters.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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