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Published: Sat, October 22, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

North Carolina Democrats win extension of voter registration deadline


"Our agency appreciates Judge Stephens' thoughtful consideration of this matter and will fully comply with his order", Kim Westbrook Strach, the executive director of the state's board of elections, said in a statement.

Record flooding swamped parts of the state last week, killing 20 people and disrupting services.

People who decide to vote early will be able to register the same day.

Searchers found two more bodies inside vehicles that were submerged in floodwaters in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew, increasing the toll in the state to 26 dead, Gov.

In the other 64 counties, the regular voter registration deadline ended Friday.

The party says that because many in North Carolina were impacted by Hurricane Matthew, more time should be granted for them to register to vote.

Registration deadlines were extended in Florida and SC because of the hurricane. The group's president, Kristen Clarke, called the judge's ruling "a victory for the people of Chatham County".

The judge ordered an extension to next Wednesday in 36 counties, a lawyer for the state Democratic Party said on Twitter.

In Georgia, U.S. District Judge William Moore ordered the voter registration deadline extended until Tuesday in Chatham County, which includes the city of Savannah.

But Stephens said those obstacles were outweighed by the "significant right of the constitution to ensure that every voter that wants to vote is not precluded from doing so as a result of a natural disaster". They can still participate in same-day voter registration during the state's 17-day early voting period beginning October 20, but that option does not allow them to vote on Election Day.

In 2012, the a year ago in which a presidential election was held, 5,100 people in the 15 counties hardest-hit by the floods registered to vote in the last week before the registration deadline, according to Board of Elections data.

The Board of Elections acknowledged Wednesday that certain counties were still assessing the full impact of the weekend's hurricane and said it anticipates certain voters will have difficulty accessing county elections offices. It added most post offices, which also register voters, reopened Tuesday in the county.

State officials opposed an extension, saying residents could have registered online or mailed in registration forms.

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