Democrats, civil rights groups want more registration time

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democrats and civil rights groups are criticizing the State Board of Elections for not extending a voter registration deadline and want it to reconsider in light of Hurricane Matthew’s destruction.

Democratic state legislators, members of Congress, former Gov. Jim Hunt and state NAACP president Rev. William Barber are among those urging a Friday deadline be extended. They say displaced residents need additional time.

Barber also said Thursday early in-person voting should be expanded and Saturday and Sunday early voting occur in all storm-affected counties.

The board did agree mailed-in applications postmarked after Friday would be accepted as long as they are received by next Wednesday and the applications are dated by Friday.

People can still register to vote and cast ballots during the early-voting period starting Oct. 20.