RALEIGH – Republicans in the N.C. General Assembly reanimated legislation this week that would set uniform required hours for early voting sites and expand the required early voting period from 16.5 days to 17 days. Because the bill only requires the 12 hours of operation (7 AM to 7 PM) Monday through Friday, Democrats are calling the bill – say it with me now – racist.
Senate Bill 325, originally a tax cut bill from last year, was used as a vehicle for the committee substitute that changes early voting hours and requirements. Under the proposal early voting sites would have to adopt a uniform schedule Monday through Friday, with any weekend hours at the counties’ discretion.
Being that the required days would not include the Saturday before an election, a popular voting day for Democrats and black voters apparently, the Left and their media friends has deemed the proposed law a racist one with the goal of suppressing the black vote via reduced access.
“Democracy North Carolina, a nonprofit concerned with election law, said nearly 200,000 people cast ballots on the last Saturday of early voting in 2016, and that the last Saturday is disproportionately used by African-American voters.
In North Carolina’s one-stop voting, unlike on Election Day, people can register to vote at the same time they cast ballots.
Democracy NC Executive Director Tomas Lopez compared the bill to a 2013 elections law that a panel of federal judges struck down.
“Once again, politicians in Raleigh are coming back for a second bite at voting restrictions first introduced and overturned by a federal court on 2013, without input from election officials and the public,” Lopez said in a statement . “This latest proposal not only eliminates the popular, final Saturday of early voting, disproportionately used by African-American voters, but also creates onerous requirements that will put a strain on county election officials, disincentivize weekend early voting access, and reduce voters’ options to cast a ballot.”
Trending: Split Court Hands Cooper Court Victory
But how is mandating an additional half day – from 16.5 to 17 – of early voting on a uniform schedule reducing access? Even though the State, via this legislation, is not requiring open sites on Saturdays doesn’t mean counties don’t still have the ability to open early voting sites on the weekends.
As it stands now some early voting sites shut down sooner than others, leading to confusion. Requiring a uniform schedule would address this problem and lead to more opportunities for early voting access, not less.
Already, though, Democrats – even national ones – have weighed in with the voter suppression narrative spinning.
Here we go again. North Carolina Republicans making it more difficult for people to vote. Why not let people vote on a Saturday-when most don’t have to choose between their jobs and their desire to cast a ballot. Time for a change in NC – VOTE https://t.co/8tzXzcxNJK
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) June 14, 2018
Eric Holder – remember him? The Fast & Furious U.S. Attorney General under President Obama. He now heads up something called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is focusing its attention on 2018 legislative races and has a big target on North Carolina to try to paint it blue. The Obama administration became a master at playing the race card, so this is just another another naked attempt at stirring the pot to generate enthusiasm from the Democratic base.
His comment about choosing between jobs and casting a ballot is way off-base. How many voters actually have an irregular schedule, including working weekends? We’d venture to say quite a bit, and expanding uniform hours is a good way to give those people MORE access to casting a ballot. That kind of critical though is not usually employed by the Left, however, as it’s drowned out by the robotic calls of racism toward anything with an ‘R’ beside it.
Not every North Carolina Democrat is so blindingly partisan, though:
“Rep. Shelly Willingham, a Rocky Mount Democrat, said he’s heard complaints from residents confused about local early voting schedules and when sites would be open. “This is a good way to go,” he said of the bill.”
A good way to go, indeed. Something so simple and common sense as requiring uniform, expanded hours at early voting sites (17 days of early voting!) is somehow being construed as a voter suppression tactic.
Just another day of spin from the super-minority in the state legislature, and their perpetually offended Leftist friends.