Counties to keep current line — for now

Jul. 22, 2014 @ 06:34 PM

After discovering an official county line determination process could take years to complete, Vance and Granville counties will follow their own for the general election Nov. 4.

County commissioners met Tuesday, accompanied by board of elections staff, to start tackling the issue stirring concerns about where to vote, receive public services and pay taxes.

Granville County Board of Elections director Tonya Burnette said the county began an auditing process in September — as directed by the North Carolina Board of Elections — that moved 33 addresses outside its borders to surrounding counties, including Vance and Warren.

Vance County’s Board of Elections chairman Kevin Kilgore said he has not been notified to do so and wishes to wait for commissioners to set official county lines before advising residents to vote in other districts.

“As far as we know, what we’ve been given is the county line,” he said.

Granville County Manger Michael Felts said — and attorneys affirmed — power lays with commissioners to set the boundaries, but a survey would have to be recorded and filed if they wished to dispute what the state has established.

The state will use a new GIS tracking system to mark borders, which would take more than a year to complete.

Granville County’s addressing and sign coordinator Sandy Woody said the waiting list for such a survey is already about three years.

She said it is done by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources at no cost to the counties, but only the lines in dispute would be reviewed.

Burnette said voter registration and coding must be done by Aug. 15 in order to start mailing out absentee ballots Sept. 5.

Commissioners agreed to leave the general election’s procedures to the board of elections and put off surveying until after the election.

So far, two addresses have moved into Vance County and, if the state lines become official, a total of six will transition to Granville County.

Vance County Board of Elections director Faye Gill said no one has been moved out of Vance County yet.

Woody said signs moved in April had been in the wrong place for years, and Granville’s decision to ask the North Carolina Department of Transportation to move them was to align with what was already in place.

Felts said once county lines have officially been established, voter registration will be determined by where a resident lays their head at night.

Other issues, such as taxes and public services — to be detailed during a subsequent meeting — will be determined by where a home’s driveway is located or which county contains the larger portion of the property.

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.