Opinion roundup Sept. 8, 2016: Voter access, refugees, and renewable energy

Opinion and commentary from around North Carolina and the nation.

Posted Updated
Vote; election
Voter suppression in N.C. (New York Times) -- North Carolina Republicans are at it again. Barely one month after a federal appeals court struck down the state’s anti-voter law for suppressing African-American voter turnout “with almost surgical precision,” election officials in dozens of counties are taking up new ways to make it as hard as possible for blacks, and others who tend to support Democrats, to vote. … What is far more dangerous to the integrity of American elections is the persistent efforts of lawmakers to disenfranchise large numbers of minority voters, rather than to work to win their votes with a party platform that treats them with respect.
We can make voting easy or we can make it rough (Charlotte Observer) -- The North Carolina Board of Elections will decide early voting plans for Mecklenburg and other counties on Thursday.
Stronger case for redistricting reform (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- We’ve been living in such a hyper-politicized world for so long, you might wonder if it’s even possible to take on a thorny issue in a nonpartisan way. A panel of retired judges did just that recently – with amazing results.
Welcoming Syrian refugees (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The Zidan family of Clemmons is settling in to the patterns of life so familiar to many of us, including going to Hanes Mall and swimming in pools. They’re Syrian refugees, but they’re not that different from their fellow residents. They’re settling in, thanks to folks like the family that has welcomed them.
Voters will determine their own economic future (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- As voters in Pitt County and eastern North Carolina make the turn from Labor Day toward Election Day, they should ask themselves whether the candidates are talking about them when they highlight all they’ve done or will do if elected to improve their lives.
STEVE TROXLER: Renewable wood energy works for N.C. (Fayetteville Observer column) -- As a longtime farmer and commissioner of agriculture for North Carolina, I know very well the value of the agriculture industry to our state. Today I'd like to emphasize the benefits that North Carolina forestry and forest products.
No time to wait for better educational outcomes (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Pitt County parents and employers might be breathing a bit easier after last week’s news from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction that county schools increased the overall graduation rate and slightly improved performance grades.
Virus' arrival means prevention efforts must grow (Fayetteville Observer) -- Zika is here. Fortunately, it arrived by conventional transportation, not in a swarm of mosquitoes. But given more time and government inaction, the mosquitoes may be arriving soon too.

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