Robeson County polling sites changed due to damage after Hurricane Matthew

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LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – Hurricane Matthew caused some changes to three polling locations in Robeson County.

Voting machines and supplies were moved in preparation for the big election Monday afternoon at the Robeson County Board of Elections Office.

“It’s been a lot of work, extra work trying to make sure these people are going to have enough poll workers and everything so we can run the election just as it should be,” said G.L. Pridgen, Director of Robeson County Board of Elections.

Flooding from Hurricane Matthew impacted thousands of people in Robeson County but Pridgen says the voter turnout this year could surpass from years before.

“We have never had the turnout that we’ve had so far here in early voting,” mentioned Pridgen.

Pridgen says more than 17,000 early absentee ballots are in ahead of Tuesday’s election.

But something different about this year are polling sites to cast your ballot.

“Well we have three locations, well really two locations that just got so damaged with mold and everything else so we cannot use them,” Pridgen said.

The precinct 17 polling place at the West Lumberton Hut on Buchanan Street was damaged by the flood it will move to the O.P. Owens Agriculture building at 455 Caton Road near the Department of Social Services and health department buildings.

The precinct 16 site at the South Lumberton Resource Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive also sustained damage after Hurricane Matthew. This polling site will move to Lumberton Fire Department Number 3 at 801 Dunn Road.

The Bill Sapp Recreation Center which is being used as a Red Cross disaster shelter will move three blocks down to the Senior Citizens Center at 801 Pine Street.

“What we tried to do is get them to as close to where they’ve been voting as possible so people will not have to travel long distance to go vote,” said Pridgen.

There are 75,662 registered voters in Robeson County.

On Tuesday the Department of Justice will send more than 500 poll watchers to 67 jurisdictions including Robeson County.