by Bob Geary
The bill Chris Fitzsimon is talking about in the tweet below is House Bill 451, introduced yesterday by Rep. Edgar Starnes, a Republican from Hickory. (Democracy NC calls it the "Screw the Voter Act of 2013" — like!) As brazen as so much of what the Republicans have been doing is, this legislation is quite possibly the worst example of their partisan hackery yet. That is, unlike their Voter ID stuff, they can't even pretend that this bill has any public benefit. Its purpose is to reduce the number of Democratic voters — who've flocked to the early-voting sites and Sunday voting — while making it easier to vote by absentee ballot, a method more Republicans use.
Chris nails it:
Why would we want to shorten the length of time people have to vote or not allow people to cast their ballots on Sunday, unless we prefer fewer people show up at the polls?
When did that become a legitimate policy position, that we want fewer people to decide elections? The same question applies to Starnes’ plan to abolish straight-ticket voting. Some people prefer to support all the candidates of one party. Why should we make it more difficult for them to do that?
Couldn't have said it better — so I suggest you read his full piece:
The Fitzsimon File: The most conspicuous partisan power play - ow.ly/jxMYw #ncga #ncpol #vote #ncgov
— NC Policy Watch (@NCPolicyWatch) March 28, 2013
And from Democracy NC:
This is actually a bill to Promote Voter Fraud! House Bill 451 creates new barriers to Early Voting, which will put more pressure on Election Day and cause longer lines, more hassles, and more mistakes. But it makes it easier to vote using mail-in absentee ballots, which is actually the way most voter fraud is committed! Republicans are ready to manipulate the election process in this sick way because they think they gain an advantage with more mail-in voting and less Early Voting.
This same bill also eliminates the public financing program for judges and makes all judicial elections partisan rather than nonpartisan. It repeals Same Day Registration, slices a week off Early Voting, bans Sunday voting during Early Voting, and eliminates straight-party voting. Sick, very sick.