The state Court of Appeals has issued a temporary stay blocking a judge's order to put an early voting site at one state university.

With just a few days left before the start of early voting, students at Appalachian State University are waiting to hear if they'll have access to a campus early voting site.

A Wake County judge on Monday ordered the State Board of Elections to restore a polling place at the university in Boone, arguing that removing it served no apparent intent except to discourage student voting.

The order came just ten days before the Oct. 23 start of early voting. The N.C. Board of Elections said  that wasn't enough time to pick a site and get it ready. They appealed, and late Friday the Court of Appeals granted their request to stay the order.

Meanwhile, election officials are making plans to have a site ready in case the courts lift the stay. Josh Lawson is a spokesman for the state Board of Elections. He says the board wants the case resolved so they can get word out to voters.  

"The present early voting sites were advertised throughout Watauga as required by statute," he says. "The ASU site was not advertised, of course, but we do want there to be kind of a definitive message as to where you are supposed to go if you want to participate in early voting."

Appalachian State has recommended two sites – the Plemmons Student Union, which has served as an early voting site in the past. Also, Legends, a former grocery store that was converted into an entertainment venue, is a polling site for the Nov. 4 election.

The petitioners in the case - a group of Watauga County voters – have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to respond to the latest court order that puts the early voting site on hold.

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