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A third of N.C. counties have received permission from the State Board of Elections to reduce early-voting hours heading into the May 6 primary below what last year’s elections overhaul law demanded of them. The law, pushed through by state Republican leaders, remains a divisive issue with legal challenges as the upcoming primary provides a key test of how new rules will work before the November general election. The law actually decreased the number of early-voting days leading to an election from 17 days to 10, but it came with a qualification. Counties would still have to offer at least the same number of cumulative hours for people to vote ahead of election day – compared to the 2010 primary.

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