McCrory Signs Voting Overhaul… Outrage Ensues
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed the voting overhaul legislation yesterday afternoon, and progressives all around America are assailing the Tar Heel state.
Even Hillary Clinton is getting in on the action. From CNN:
A law signed by North Carolina’s Republican governor Monday amounted to the “greatest hits of voter suppression,” Clinton argued. The measure, which goes into effect for the 2016 elections, includes a requirement that voters present a valid government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot.
Like Florida’s voter roll effort, North Carolina’s new law was only possible after the high court’s decision in June.
Clinton is starting a speaking tour where she plans to focus on “issues of ‘transparency and balance.’”
I’ll wait for you to finish laughing.
Fired up? Ready to go?
Keep in mind, this is “red meat” for the Democratic base. Outrage and being offended are the prime motivations for many Leftists. Even if it’s fake, it is still very helpful for the political party to harness the emotion and direct it towards volunteering and fundraising efforts.
So, while reasonable can disagree about what are reasonable safeguards, screaming racism and voter suppression are usually not hallmarks of a rational conversation.
The Raleigh News & Observer’s write-up on what the voting overhaul does is a good reference:
• The early voting period will be one week shorter. County election boards, however, are required to provide the same number of hours for early voting so expect longer hours and more voting sites.
This is a pretty key point that is often overlooked by critics. The hours of operation will be the same during early voting. In the past, some counties kept their EV sites only open during business hours on weekdays. This would keep those sites open for people to vote after work. Seems fairer, no?
• You’ll no longer be able to vote a straight ticket. And candidates will appear on the ballot in alphabetical order by party – beginning with the party whose nominee for governor received the most votes in the most recent election.
Frankly, I don’t really care one way or the other on this one. I’ve never voted a straight ticket. But some lazy and uninformed people do. I guess eliminating it means we no longer reward lazy and uninformed voting. Is this suppression? I don’t think so. Wouldn’t it encoruaging people to learn about candidates? Why do critics want people to be uneducated?
• You’ll no longer be able to register and vote on the same day.
It’s actually pretty rare for a state to allow same-day registration. Only ten states and the District of Columbia permit it. Also, many of them require (GASP!) photo ID when people do it! So, are the forty other states suppressing voters, too? There are a lot of Jim Crow states, apparently.
• There will be more people watching. Currently the chairs of county political parties can designate two observers at each precinct or voting place. The law allows them to name 10 additional at-large observers who can go anywhere in a county.
Until now, if you wanted to challenge someone at a polling site, you had to live in that precinct. But as some precincts have grown more homogenous, finding someone of the minority party to watch polling sites has become more difficult. In a precinct where 99.9% of the voters are Democrats, finding the .01% Republican voters to sit at a polling station all day is unlikely.
• Starting in 2016, you’ll have to show one of eight authorized photo IDs: an N.C. driver’s license that has not expired, a special ID card for non-drivers, a driver’s license issued by another state but only within 90 days of the voter’s registration, a U.S. passport, a military ID card, a veteran’s ID card issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a tribal enrollment card issued by the federal government, or a tribal ID card recognized by the state. Not included: student IDs.
If you don’t have a valid ID, you’ll be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. But to have it count you must go to the elections board within six days (nine in presidential elections) and show a valid ID.
If you don’t have an ID you can still vote. You can ensure that vote counts by returning with an ID within a week. In an electoral system based on residency, it seems intuitive that proving your residency would be a pretty good safeguard.
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