Legislature adds time to early voting


June 16, 2018

General Assembly expands early voting

The House passed Senate Bill 325 on Friday, which would expand early voting in our state.

If signed by Gov. Roy Cooper, The Uniform & Expanded Early Voting Act would increase the number of days and number of hours available for early voting. The bill landed on the governor’s desk on Friday, so we will see if he decides to agree or disagree with expanded early voting.

If the bill becomes law, it will increase the total number of early voting days from sixteen-and-a-half to seventeen. It will also increase the total number of early voting hours.

Under current law, early voting across North Carolina is not uniform. There may be an early voting location that opens at 8:30 a.m. in one precinct and one in another precinct that opens at 9:00 a.m. Those same locations may close at different times as well.

Also under current law, early voting locations tend to only be open during hours when most North Carolinians are at work — except on Saturdays.

Senate Bill 325 would require all early voting locations in our state to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The bill would also remove the last Saturday of early voting so elections administrators may prepare for the rush of voters on Election Day. Local boards of elections would still have the option to offer Saturday voting on earlier Saturdays.

As predictably as the sun will rise tomorrow morning, opponents of the bill claim it is meant to suppress and disenfranchise minority voters. I hope they continue to make such baseless claims against Republican elections bills (and they will) — their claims only further devalue their credibility.

It is important to note here that a U.S. District Court judge ruled our 2013 voter law constitutional only to have a U.S. Appeals Court claim the law targeted African Americans “with surgical precision.” The disagreement between courts was heading to the U.S. Supreme Court for adjudication before Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein asked the Supreme Court to not hear the matter.

Cooper and Stein got a decision they wanted, and they stopped the judicial process in its tracks. You can’t make this stuff up.

I, for one, believe more early voting time delivered more consistently is good for North Carolina. It will be interesting to see how the far-Left and the media (is there a difference?) spin such a common sense bill for political gain.

4-H student visits office

I enjoyed sitting down and talking with a wonderful young man this week from Yancey County, Kyler Glover.

Kyler was participating in a 4-H program that brings students from across our state to Raleigh to get a first-hand look at how state government functions. If you get a chance to talk with Kyler, I think you’ll see what I saw: a young man with a good head on his shoulders who has a great future ahead of him.

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