Orange County's Board of Elections met this afternoon. Many people know I have been sitting in on their meetings regularly since March of 2012.
On the agenda was determining early vote sites and times for the 2016 primary election. 14 members of the public were there, 11 of us spoke in favor of broad opportunities for early vote sites. Most of the 11 requested Sunday early vote hours. Our Board of County Commissioners also sent a letter to the Board of Elections saying they would support Sunday voting hours.
There is only 1 Sunday included in the days allotted by the General Assembly for early vote. One.
Before the November 2015 election last month, there were requests for Sunday early vote hours. Denied.
The election before that, the Orange Dem Party turned in a petition with over 800 signatures requesting Sunday vote hours. Jews For Justice turned brought in signatures from multiple Jewish groups and Rabbis requesting early vote hours on Sunday. This meeting was so contentious it made the evening news. The room was packed, about 75 were present, all but about 6 requesting Sunday voting hours. But again, denied.
But today's meeting takes the cake. The one Dem on the board made a motion allowing for Sunday voting. It died for want of a second.
A GOP member made a motion for voting hours, only 3 hours less than the plan suggested by his Dem colleague, but this new plan specified No Sunday vote. A friendly amendment was made, suggesting Sunday vote at the Board of Elections office only, to gauge the public response. It died without a second. This motion, without Sunday voting hours, passed and will be in effect for the March primary.
The Chair commented that they did have one request for No Sunday voter hours, and this was what we had to put up with in exchange for an early vote site close to the UNC campus. A member of the audience asked who had made that request. Answer: The Orange County Republican Party.
Do you get that? The Orange Republican Party now takes precedence over our duly elected County Commissioners, as well as the sentiments of a great many of our county's citizens. Representative democracy is dead in North Carolina.
I'm done with this board. From now on all my energy and efforts will go into turning this freakin' state blue.
Don't get in my way.