early voting in NC

More on Florence voting difficulties: Out of county, out of luck?

Depending on the Statutes, this might be another Special Session need:

North Carolina’s robust early voting schedule this year should help, but that won’t be an option for voters who end up staying far from their home county. Current rules require you to use only the early voting sites in the county where you’re registered. State leaders should consider allowing voters from affected counties to cast provisional ballots across the state.

That likely creates a logistical hassle, but it would provide flexibility for people who might not be able to return to their home county just to vote.

And I just (before reading the above) sent a follow-up e-mail to the NC BOE suggesting this very thing. The truth is, with all these satellite early voting sites drawing information from the same state-wide database, there's no major technical challenge to allowing people to early vote out-of-county. But after a brief perusal of the Statutes in question, the General Assembly may need to add some wording to make that allowable. I've yet to see a "you must vote in your county" directive, but the chain of custody (voter to county, county to state) seems to preclude that.

All you need to know on GOP Early Voting shenanigans

Reuters details the NC GOP's concerted attack on early voting

Pulling back the veil, and it ain't pretty:

In emails, state and county Republican officials lobbied members of at least 17 county election boards to keep early-voting sites open for shorter hours on weekends and in evenings – times that usually see disproportionately high turnout by Democratic voters. Reuters obtained the emails through a public records request.

The officials also urged county election boards to open fewer sites for residents to cast ballots during early voting that began on Oct. 20 and ends on Saturday.

And it's looking like the GOP's efforts are bearing fruit, of the rotten and un-democratic type. African-American turnout numbers appear to be down at this point, as compared to 2012. While some may speculate that Obama not being on the ticket has played a part in that lower turnout, GOP shenanigans on the local level are likely a bigger factor:

Scathing editorial on the NC GOP's attack on voters

Stifling democracy is inexcusable, no matter how you slice it:

Enough is enough. First, North Carolina citizens are gerrymandered so extensively that the politicians picked their voters. Then, there’s an election law bill that slashes voting opportunities for African-Americans and young people. So, some politicians make it more difficult for those who might oppose them to get to the polls.

Playing these cynical games with voting shows a lack of respect for our most important right and makes a mockery of our elections. The state’s Republican leadership, party officials and power players in the General Assembly who are responsible, say it’s just politics as usual and an appropriate part of the process. Meanwhile the courts have said that the legislature has crafted discriminatory and unconstitutional voting laws.

The irony is, these flag-waving, pledge-of-allegiance-reciting, "representatives" of the people have attacked the US and NC Constitutions so many times we've lost count. Their arrogance and hubris know no bounds, and they will continue to grab whatever power they can get their grubby little hands on, until we put them back in the minority where they belong.

Another legal battle brewing over county voting plans

Either fix it or face the consequences:

Dozens of GOP-controlled county election boards are currently trying to limit early voting, and the state election board is poised to wade into what could be a lengthy county-by-county fight over how much early voting should be allowed. All of this comes after a federal appeals court already ruled that cutbacks in early voting and other voting restrictions were intentionally discriminatory against African American voters.

It's a complicated interplay of politics, legal wrangling, and bureaucratic processes -- but the impact on the November election and on voting rights law generally is potentially significant.

There are really two problems facing the state board: Evaluating and (hopefully) revising plans that didn't receive a unanimous vote, and figuring out what to do with counties that produced no plan at all:

Early Vote Guidance issued by NCSBE

For the folks with an interest in the Early Vote schedules, here's the latest - posted as a comment at
http://blog.wataugawatch.net/2016/07/what-happens-now-with-early-voting.html:
start:
gercohenJoMC712 said...
New early vote plans must be adopted.l by August 19. Previous adopted plan voided by NCSBE. Guidance issued at 5 pm [Friday 8/5] is here. https://s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/sboe/numbermemo/2016/Numbered%20Memo%202016-11.pdf

2016 Early voting locations and schedules

If you feel strongly about the locations, days or times of Early Voting in your county, now is the time to contact your local Board of Elections.
The EV periods are set - but the specifics are determined by each of the 100 counties.

2016 Primary election: Early vote 3/3-3/12 with election day on 3/15.
2016 General election: Early vote 10/27-11/5 with election day on 11/8.

Rand Paul disagrees with NC GOP leaders

Cat read to vote

From NC Policy Watch:

North Carolina’s Governor and state legislative leaders have indicated that they will appeal today’s Fourth Circuit ruling that enjoined two key voter suppression provisions that they helped enact in the 2013 “monster voting law.” Interestingly, however, this position runs directly contrary to several strong statements by one of the nation’s most prominent GOP presidential contenders, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky...

Also, check out the numerous cat memes flooding the internet in the wake of the AFP mailer fiasco that has resulted in a formal complaint from the NC Democratic Party.

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