Board of Elections approves WSSU as early voting site

Board of Elections approves WSSU as early voting site
October 10
00:30 2019

After being left off the list of early voting sites for nearly a decade, earlier this week the Forsyth County Board of Elections unanimously approved Winston-Salem State University as an early voting site for the 2020 Election. 

WSSU was one of the 11 early voting sites in Forsyth County until 2013, when Ken Raymond became chair of the Board of Elections. A Republican who now serves on the N.C. State Board of Elections, Raymond alleged that in 2010 there was an election violation at WSSU involving a professor. 

According to Raymond, who was a poll worker at the time, a professor who was never named was giving students course credits for voting at the early voting place on campus. Although the allegations made by Raymond were never confirmed, the students at WSSU have been suffering ever since. 
Because there hasn’t been an early voting station on campus for nearly a decade, students have been forced to find transportation to other locations across the county, while others didn’t cast a ballot at all.

As sort of a compromise, for the past few years the W.R. Anderson Recreation Center has been added as an early voting site. But for the hundreds of students who live on campus without transportation, putting an early voting location more than a mile away isn’t a compromise at all. 
During the Board of Elections meeting on Monday, Oct. 7, the board, which is majority Democrats, made it clear that they would not approve any early voting sites unless WSSU was included. The plan including WSSU passed unanimously. 

After the 11-site plan was approved, Quamekia Shavers, who serves as president of the Young Democrats of Forsyth County and a WSSU alumnae, said she was elated by the board’s decision.

“The Young Democrats of Forsyth are elated that WSSU was approved as an official voting site for Forsyth County,” Shavers said. “We believe the Democratic members of the Board of Elections’ committee recognized the engagement and continuous voter related efforts on the campus and the surrounding urban communities. Yesterday it was made very clear that the board would not approve any sites if WSSU was not listed and that is a strong stance to take and a strong belief in the community that we will turn out the vote at the Anderson Center.”

County Commissioner Tonya McDaniel, who is also a graduate of WSSU and member of the Brown Chapter of the WSSU Alumni Association, thanked the Board of Elections for their decision and encouraged the community to get engaged and exercise their right to vote in 2020.

“Now the work must begin to continue to engage our students in democracy,” McDaniel said. “As a WSSU alumnae and a member of the Brown Chapter of the WSSU Alumni Association, I charge every church, organization, sorority, fraternity and neighborhood association to get involved and engaged. Let’s get our voter registration and voter ID up like never before. I never want to revisit students not having access to early voting opportunities at WSSU.”

Aside from the Anderson Center on the campus of WSSU, other early voting sites in Forsyth County include the Forsyth County Government Center, Southside Library branch, Clemmons Library branch, Lewisville Library branch, Polo Park Recreation Center, Old Town Recreation Center, Brown & Douglas Recreation Center, Rural Hall Library branch, Maize Woodruff Center and the Kernersville Library branch.

Although the 2020 primary election is scheduled for March 3, it is unclear when early voting will begin in N.C. The General Assembly is currently considering a bill that would change the time frame for early voting across the state.

For more information on early voting, visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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