THE MAJORITY REFUSAL TO INCLUDE EARLY VOTING SITES IN ASU’S STUDENT UNION AND AT BLOWING ROCK TOWN HALL FOR THE 2015 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IS AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE TOWN OF BOONE’S YOUNGEST VOTERS
While it is true the Majority has authority and discretion in determining one-stop voting locations, such discretion cannot stand against logic and evidence. There is no rational basis for the Majority’s refusal to establish one-stop voting locations in ASU’s Student Union and Blowing Rock Town Hall for the 2015 municipal elections:
(1) The Watauga Board’s budget is not affected with the addition of early voting sites at ASU and in Blowing Rock because the municipalities pay the full cost;
(2) Director Strach stated it is acceptable for local county Boards to get input from their towns in regards to one-stop voting locations, and other North Carolina counties did so;
(3) Including one-stop sites at ASU’S Student Union and Blowing Rock Town Hall does not jeopardize the integrity of the elections nor undermine local Board authority in any way;
(4) The Town governments of Boone and Blowing Rock have specifically requested one-stop locations in ASU’s Student Union and Blowing Rock Town Hall in order to increase voter participation and opportunity;
(5) Including satellite one-stop voting locations in the ASU Student Union and Blowing Rock Town Hall will make up for this year’s inherent and dramatic reduction in early voting opportunities for Watauga County’s two largest municipalities;
(6) The ASU Student Union is a preferred early voting site for voters of all ages, and both ASU’s Student Union and Blowing Rock Town Hall offer exceptional one-stop locations; and
(7) Past election results unequivocally demonstrate that the lack of an ASU early voting site results in unconstitutional discrimination against the voting rights of a protected class of young voters.[i]
[i] Anderson, et al v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, “Petition for Judicial Review,” 14 CVS 012648, September 19, 2014.
|Cowboys with an unconstitutional horse to ride|
Note on (5) above: The Eggers/Aceto plan will slash Early Voting availability from 113 hours over a period of 2 ½ weeks in the 2013 municipal elections to a total of just 68 hours for 10 days this year, if the SBOE allows it to go forward.
Note on (7) above: "Unconstitutional" ... that's exactly the word used by Senior Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens last year, when he ordered the SBOE and the Watauga Board of Elections to restore an Early Voting site in the ASU Student Union. That ruling hasn't been overturned.