Editorial: Don't cut early voting hours
The Fayetteville Observer is out with an editorial urging the Cumberland County board of elections not to cut early voting hours, as they are currently considering.
State law requires the counties to offer as many hours of early voting as they did in 2012, but on fewer days. The Cumberland board had 492 hours of early voting in 2012, but wants to cut it to 373 in 2016 - which it can do, the law says, if the board's vote is unanimous. That's not a good idea.
The presidential primary is earlier than ever in North Carolina - March 15 - and nominations will be far from settled. We'll see many of the candidates crisscrossing the state, and voter interest is likely to be higher than it was in 2012.
That may foretell long lines at the early-voting polling places - good reason to be open for every one of those 492 hours, not cutting polling hours by about 25 percent.
We hope the Board of Elections will rethink its plan and open the early polls for as many hours as in 2012. Early voting is popular, and it's the only way some residents can get to the polls. Don't restrict it.