Editorial: Cynical partisan attack on NC voters

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016: The State Board of Elections should stand with voters, not politicians, and expand voting opportunities statewide so as many eligible voters as possible can get to the polls.

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A CBC Editorial: Wednesday, Sept. 7. 2016; Editorial# 8052
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Enough is enough. First, North Carolina citizens are gerrymandered so extensively that the politicians picked their voters. Then, there’s an election law bill that slashes voting opportunities for African-Americans and young people. So, some politicians make it more difficult for those who might oppose them to get to the polls.

Playing these cynical games with voting shows a lack of respect for our most important right and makes a mockery of our elections.

The state’s Republican leadership, party officials and power players in the General Assembly who are responsible, say it’s just politics as usual and an appropriate part of the process.

Meanwhile the courts have said that the legislature has crafted discriminatory and unconstitutional voting laws.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has a chance Thursday to begin to straighten to out this nonsense. It should start with the voters – and do everything possible to enable as many eligible voters as possible get to the polls.

Mark Ezzell, the Democrat on the Wake County Board of Elections, has presented a reasonable and workable plan to provide a full 17-day early-voting period. It includes provisions for two Sunday voting opportunities and additional polling places.

The state board should approve Ezzell’s proposal.

Further, Kim Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections, should recommend to the state board that it direct all local board of elections to implement early voting plans that similarly offer a full 17 days of early voting – including two Sundays – and renew efforts to reach out to young voters. Cutting back on opportunities to vote, no matter the target, is wrong.

The state Board of Elections first obligation is to uphold the rights of voters and not play politics at the ballot box. Acquiescing to political gimmicks corrupts the most basic privilege and obligation citizens have in a democracy.

Thursday the State Board of Elections should unequivocally take the side of ALL voters.

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