Email from GOP executive director calls for limited early voting hours
Posted August 17, 2016
Updated August 18, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Republican Party is lobbying for limited early voting hours, and Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse is calling on appointed county boards of elections officials across the state to make the changes.
The comments are proof that the November elections in North Carolina could be a fight to the finish, with each side jockeying to position its respective parties for a solid showing.
WRAL News obtained a copy of a recent email sent by Woodhouse to GOP elections officials across the state about limiting early voting hours.
In the email, Woodhouse writes “Republicans should fight with all they have to promote safe and secure voting and for rules that are fair to our side.”
Woodhouse made the point that Democrats are mobilizing for a fight over early voting locations and times and filling up election board meetings to demand changes.
To that end, Woodhouse wrote, “Our Republican board members should feel empowered to make legal changes to early voting plans that are supported by Republicans.”
In the email, Woodhouse also pushed for county elections boards to close polling places on Sundays and eliminate polling sites on college campuses.
Bob Hall, executive director of voting rights group Democracy North Carolina, called Woodhouse’s email irresponsible.
“Many Republican board members have more allegiance to their oath than to the directives from Dallas Woodhouse,” Hall said in a statement.
Hall also pointed out that early voting plans could help Republicans in 2016, just as they did in 2010 when the biggest users of early voting sites were white Republican men.
After the emails were made public, Woodhouse defended his position.
“The county board members are an independent body, and we have the right to lobby them as much as anybody else for Republican positions,” he said in a statement.