Lincoln County has presented its own spectacle of blatant voter suppression during Early Voting, and it took another lawsuit to partially rectify the State Board's rubber-stamping (again) of a local board's attempt to keep Democratic voters away from the polls.
The Republican majority on the Lincoln County BOE cut Early Voting hours in the county's main city, Lincolnton, to 38 hours while increasing hours at more rural, satellite sites to 70 hours each. Lincolnton is where 31% of the county's black voters live.
When the Lincoln Co. BOE's first Early Voting plan included no hours past 5 p.m., the SBOE sent it back and insisted that at least one Early Voting site needed to include hours past 5 p.m. The Lincoln BOE then reduced the hours in Lincolnton to 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- hours guaranteed to keep working people away from voting -- and increased hours at the rural satellite sites.
The Chairman of the Lincoln BOE was quite explicit to the local press about why they did that: We didn't want to make Early Voting "favorable to the Democratic Party." He really said that.
On October 6, a group of Lincoln County voters sued the SBOE and members of the Lincoln County BOE in Wake Superior Court. A week later the Lincoln County BOE caved and extended the hours at the Lincolnton site. It's unclear what's become of that lawsuit in the meantime, but we suspect it's still active, and the concerned voters of Lincoln County will still get their day in court against the increasingly partisan hackery epitomized by the NC State Board of Elections and their agents in the 100 counties.