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Redistricting splits Warren Wilson College in half, causes confusion

Students who live on campus at Warren Wilson College have a good excuse if they head into Election Day somewhat confused about their choices for state House and Buncombe County Commission.

Revised electoral districts have split the Swannanoa campus in half, and the Buncombe County Board of Elections realized after more than a week of early voting that a big problem had been overlooked.

A dormitory where around 1,000 students, faculty and staff reside is in a different district than the campus mailing center, which has an address that on-campus residents list as a mailing address.

People were telling poll workers they lived at the address associated with the mailing center and getting ballots for that district.

According to Trena Parker, Buncombe elections director, 54 people had already cast ballots in the wrong district by the time the problem was realized.

Parker said the county has spent the past few days correcting course and making sure anyone who casted the wrong ballot casts a provisional ballot as a replacement on or before election day Election Day. All but six voters have successfully been contacted, and the county sent a letter to those impacted, she said.

Provisional ballots count after being lined up with the original vote to make sure the one corresponding to the correct district goes through.

"It's also important to point out that, if for any reason someone who cast a ballot doesn't get a provisional one in time, every other race they voted for will count," Parker said.

Read more about the confusion at Mountain Xpress


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