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State Board of Elections delays N.C. primary to July 20

Posted Monday, February 9, 2004

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North Carolina's May 4 primary will be delayed until July 20, the N.C. Board of Elections decided today.

The delay will actually give the state an earlier say in choosing a Democratic nominee for the president. Democrats will hold statewide caucuses April 17, at which voters can fill out a form similar to the ballots used in primary votes. Unlike in a regular primary, independents will not be allowed to participate.

State Republicans are talking to national party officials about whether they need to have a presidential vote, since President Bush may be the only nominee considered in the state.

Candidates statewide, including local Chatham County candidates for the county commission and the board of education, were supposed to start filing for office today. Instead filing will start April 26 and end May 7.

The delay comes while the state is waiting to see whether three federal judges will approve new districts that state House and Senate candidates would have to run in this year. The districts have to meet requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act. In addition, a group of Republicans is challenging the maps in state court, saying they don't meet requirements in the N.C. Constitution.

2004 Altered Election Schedule*
Filing for Candidates Opens April 26
Closes May 7
[Ballot preparation 23 days]

Absentee Voting begins May 31
Primary Election July 20
[Canvass July 27]

Second Primary, if needed August 17
[Canvass August 24]
[Ballot preparation 19 days]

Absentee Voting begins September 13
General Election November 2

*Assumes no election protests or appeals.

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State Board of Elections delays N.C. primary to July 20

Related info:
NC State Board of Elections

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