Already progressive fictions about voting reform are being dispelled by hard numbers from state government.
Today (April 29, 2014) data from the State Board of Elections revealed that as of yesterday (eight days out from Election Day) 95,257 people had voted early. Also, 90,031 of those voters had voted at an early voting one-stop location. That’s after five days of in-person early voting. In 2010 (the comparable election year), at the same time (eight days out from Election Day) 85,255 people had voted. Of those 81,323 had voted at one-stop sites. The difference: In 2010, at eight days out from Election Day, voters had been voting for 12 days already.
This is proof positive that the progressive-left was wrong when they claimed shortening the in-person, early voting period would suppress the vote. Plus, it also proves that an early voting window of 17 days was excessive to say the least, especially when we take in account that all 100 counties were held to the same time standard. It’s also good to know that, for the Primary, 39 counties received approval to lessen the number of hours they were open during one-stop voting. No doubt the news that North Carolinians are more than able to budget their time in order to vote will surprise liberals.
The progressives in the legislature and those working in Z. Smith Reynolds’ collective of Blueprint NC organizations focused on several key provisions in the law that do the most to protect everyone’s vote. In-person early voting is one of the provisions they have attacked. The Voter Information Verification act (VIVA) shortened the length of the in-person, early voting window from 17 days to 10 days, but it also inserted a provision to maintain the total number of hours each county allotted for the previous equivalent election. The left bemoaned the loss of “the first week” of early voting, suggesting that the VIVA’s proponents were suppressing the voters that vote in the first week of early voting. Sounds silly doesn’t it? But that is one of their arguments.
As progressive-liberals continue to scrounge to find evidence that the Republicans who championed the bill only did so because they wanted to stifle African American voter’s votes, this election and the ones that follow will prove them wrong.
Time is on the side of the overwhelming majority of voters in North Carolina who believe that our vote is worth protecting. The next few elections will demonstrate that the new elections reform law will only help re-establish integrity in our election process and begin to reassure voters that their votes really do count.
This all being said, the Left’s challenges to early voting should be thrown-out altogether knowing that every voter can vote in the comfort of their own home by requesting a ballot by mail. The Left’s arguments against shortening the time to vote early in-person are diminished immediately when we understand that early voting really begins at least 50 days ahead of an election – when absentee voting by-mail begins.