VOTE 2012: New Hanover Co. discusses polling place signage


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As November nears, the New Hanover County Board of Elections discussed issues at polling places Friday.

You may remember the sign in May when the Devon Methodist Church, which was a polling place, had a sign that proclaimed, “A true marriage is male and female and God.”

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Some voters claimed it was a form of voter intimidation, and the issue garnered national attention. Others say they did nothing wrong.

“It’s their very own property,” says New Hanover County voter Joann Barb. “They should be allowed to do that.”

“Property owners have the same rights of freedom relating to speech whether it’s an election or anything else,” says New Hanover County Elections Director Marvin McFadyen.

Though it is within their constitutional rights, McFadyen says he hopes this time around polling places will choose to steer clear of putting up signage that may have to do with an issue on the ballot.

Sometimes referendums will relate to a certain issue in the community,” McFadyen says. “I guess we could look at what’s going to be on the November ballot as far as the City of Wilmington bond referendum.

Barb says regardless of the sign, it would not change her vote.

“Oh I don’t think it would sway voters,” she says. “Voters are going to vote what’s in their heart and how they feel.”

“It really does come down to the rights of the individual,” McFadyen says.

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