LUMBERTON — Voters in the South Pembroke Precinct will have a new voting site in May if the state approves a recommendation by the Robeson County Board of Elections.
The local board voted Tuesday to move the South Pembroke Precinct polling site, which has been located at Pembroke Middle School, to the Pembroke Public Library. The change would not not affect a March 11 do-over election concerning the Pembroke Council.
“This site is a much better location. It’s much more secure,” said G.L. Pridgen, the local board’s new director. “We have been trying to move polling places out of schools.”
As of Wednesday, there have been 50 to 60 Pembroke voters registering for the first time or making changes in their existing registrations in order to be able to vote in the Pembroke Council election, said Ninevetch Carmona, senior deputy with the Robeson County Board of Elections. The deadline to register to vote in the election is Feb. 14.
All eligible Pembroke voters can participate in the election, not just those who voted in November. Early voting will begin Feb. 27 and close on March 8. New election laws prohibit voters from registering and casting their ballots on the same day. Absentee ballots can be obtained by mail until March 4.
On March 11, the polling site for all voters will be at the Pembroke Public Library.
The new election will affect three council seats, two of which are four-year terms, and one unexpired two-year term. November results appear to have given the one four-year seat to high-vote getter Channing Jones, a challenger, while incumbent Allen Dial, who was seeking his fifth term, and challenger Teresa Locklear tied for the second four-year seat. Dial won a draw of a card for the seat, but the county Board of Elections, after hearing allegations of fraud, sent the matter to the state board for its consideration.
In the race for the remainder of the two years on the term of Robert Williamson, who died in early 2012 shortly after taking office in early 2012, Mitch Lowry appeared to win election by four votes over former Pembroke Councilman Larry McNeill.