This commentary was written and submitted to Xpress by Henry Mitchell, chair of the Buncombe County Republican Party.
Everyone, please, just relax! The new North Carolina Voter ID Law simply compares to the election laws already existing in most of the other states.
A Voter Suppression Act. Disenfranchised voters. One of the nation’s most restrictive Voter ID Laws in the country. Controversial. Sweeping. Fiercely contested. An assault on democracy…..
We have heard it from the press. We have heard it from the left. It’s all over the internet, Facebook and Twitter…..
Actually, the TRUTH? North Carolina’s new Voting and Election Law just brings us closer in line with the rest of the country. Believe it or not—somehow, elections are still occurring in all of these other states. North Carolina’s voting laws had been among the most liberal in the country. Now, even with the new changes, NC’s Election Law remains more liberal than those in many states.
No voting problem was required to be reported to the state by county Boards of Elections.Controlled by the governor’s party, many boards never reported any.Statewide voters use other people’s names.Other N.C. voter fraud is easy to find online.
Here’s a re-cap on what the new law actually does and how NC lines up with other states….
*HB 598 brings North Carolina more in line with voting regulations in other states and makes substantive changes to our election laws that many truly believe will restore integrity and instill trust in our voting system.
*VOTER ID: Not required until 2016 and provided free of charge at all DMV offices across the state.Anyone over age 70 may use expired ID’s and licenses.Some states report increased minority participation with voter ID.And NO it’s not controversial…
33 states require Voter ID. NC is the 34th state to do so.
*STRAIGHT TICKET VOTING: No longer allowed.
14 states allow straight party voting.North Carolina now joins 36 other states that do not allow straight ticket voting.
*EARLY VOTING: The number of days allotted has been reduced, but the number of hours the polls will be open is still the same.
15 states allow NO early voting or no-excuse absentee voting.
32 states allow early voting—ranging from 4 days to election day to 45 days, with an average of 19 days. North Carolina now allows 10 days but requires the same number of hours of early voting that were available in 2012 and 2010 when the early voting period was 17 days.
SAME DAY REGISTRATION: No longer allowed during early voting.
*Only one state allows same day registration during early voting. NC was the only other state to allow this and has now joined 48 states in not allowing same day registration during early voting.
*11 states allow same day registration on Election Day; North Carolina does not.
PREREGISTRATION: No longer allowed for 16-17 year olds.
*5 states allow 16-17 year olds to preregister to vote.45 states do not, now including North Carolina.
RELAX. Across America people are voting. Democracy is working just fine. The sun will come up tomorrow in North Carolina and across America.In fact, the sun might be a litter brighter on the next election day— as fair and just elections are now insured for all voters in North Carolina.
Henry D Mitchell
Buncombe County Republican Party