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Feds approve NC's new same-day voter registration

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RALEIGH (AP) -- Voters who decide at the last minute that they're interested in this fall's municipal elections can cast a ballot right away under a new law that's received final federal approval.

The law gives citizens the option of registering and immediately voting at one-stop voting sites during the final days of a campaign. Before now, registration was cut off 25 days before an election.

State Board of Elections director Gary Bartlett says the U.S. Department of Justice signed off on the plan late last week, and a brief letter formalizing the approval arrived today.

The General Assembly approved legislation July 11 to make North Carolina the eighth state to allow people to register and cast a ballot immediately before an election. Governor Easley signed the measure about a week later, but the law had to be reviewed by the Justice Department to assure it complied with the federal Voting Rights Act.

If you're not registered by September 14 you'll only be able to vote at the offices of the New Hanover County Board of Elections. For details visit www.nchgov.com.

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