North Carolina election officials plan to settle early voting disputes

North Carolina election officials are scrutinizing proposed early voting schedules in a third of the state’s counties that were altered when a federal appeals court struck down ballot access laws written by Republicans.

The State Board of Elections was slated to meet Thursday to settle disputes after local boards couldn’t agree on dates, hours or sites for in-person voting that now covers 17 days this fall. The decisions are important in a presidential battleground state. Adjustments could affect turnout.

Early voting previously covered 10 days before judges ruled this summer that the legislature reduced the length of time with discriminatory intent toward black voters. Civil rights activists accuse some Republicans of seeking to get around the legal decision by curbing hours or eliminating Sunday voting. GOP leaders say criticisms are purely political.

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