No early-voting poll site on WSSU campus, Forsyth County elections board votes

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Students, residents and educators sounded off at members of the Forsyth County Board of Elections during a meeting Friday.

The board voted 2 to 1 to approve 15 early voting poll sites for November's general election.

The Anderson Center at Winston-Salem State University was not on the list, upsetting many who say the site was easy for students and those who use public transportation to get to.

"Shame on them," said Eric Ellison, chairman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party.

"The community came out today collectively," he said. "We asked them to listen to us, they ignored us."

The Anderson Center was a popular early voting poll site from 2000 to 2012.

It was removed as a poll site from WSSU, a historically black university, after claims of voter fraud.

Many say Friday's vote is an example of voter suppression.

"Taking away the vote so clearly from people of color and people who don't have access to transportation, people who are low on the economic scale is just clear that they are not listening," said WSSU student Jemma Johnson.

Forsyth County Board of Elections Chairman Ken Raymond says that's not true.

"No one is stopping anyone from voting," said Raymond.

Raymond says instead voters can use the poll site at Reynolds Park Recreation Center about one mile away from WSSU.

"They may not be on campus but they're close by and certainly within walking distance," Raymond said.

More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition to have a poll site on WSSU's campus.

BOE member Fleming El-Amin, who voted for the Anderson Center to be used a poll site, will appeal Friday's vote.

Board members have until July 29 to submit their final early voting sites to the state.

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