N.C. elections order could mean more early voting sites

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s top elections administrator has ordered counties to open a minimum number of early in-person voting sites this fall to buttress ballot access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those sites also have to be open on otherwise optional voting weekends. State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell cited her emergency powers in announcing changes Friday.

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The order also tells election workers that while they’ll have to wear face coverings at voting centers and Election Day precincts in November, voters won’t be required to do so.

A key Senate Republican and liberal-leaning election advocacy groups criticized the order for different reasons.