PENDER COUNTY -- Long lines at the voting booths in Pender County during the last presidential election has brought about some changes. You may be voting elsewhere: Elections officials say back in 2004 some county residents had to wait more than four hours to cast their ballot. Instead of 17 voting precincts in county, there will be 20. The new ones will be in middle Topsail, Sloops Point and the Cape Fear precinct in Rocky Point. The precincts were added in Hampstead and Rocky Point because those are the areas with the largest growth. Officials say so far they've had a positive response from residents. Pender County Board of Elections Director Dennis Boyle said, "The main thing we're getting is people calling up and saying I've been voting at this precinct for years, why are you changing it. And once they're told what's going on, their response is happiness." Along with the added precincts, the Board of Elections has also doubled the number of voting machines since 2004, which they say should also cut the lines down. Anyone affected by the split should get their new voter registration card in the mail in the next two weeks.
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