Sunday, July 31, 2016

What Happens Now With Early Voting?

Scene at the State BOE on Friday
when the 4th Circuit announced its decision.
Documentary photo
Friday, the same day that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals announced it was throwing out the new election rules passed by the Republicans in the General Assembly -- and signed by our dim bulb governor -- was also the deadline for the submission of rival Early Voting plans from counties -- like Watauga -- where Republican and Democratic Board of Elections members could not agree.

Stella Anderson's submission of an Early Voting plan, in opposition to Republican BOE Chair Bill Aceto's plan, makes for very good reading, especially the Executive Summary.

Anderson makes a compelling case that (number 1) Bill Aceto can't even do simple arithmetic, and (number 2) the intent behind Aceto's plan to move Early Voting to Legends rather than use the far superior facility proven effective in the last two elections -- his intent is clearly discriminatory against college-age voters.

But now that the Fourth Circuit has thrown out in its entirety the changes to election law enacted by the Republicans, Early Voting gets stretched to its original 17 days, rather than the 10 days the Republicans preferred. NC statutes require that Early Voting sites be advertised 45 days prior to the start of Early Voting, which means that the SBOE hears, over their shoulders, time's winged chariot hurrying near.

Stella Anderson's argument for increased after-work hours and for locating the ASU site in the Student Union still exhibits solid logic. Meanwhile, the State Board of Elections grapples with a whole new reality. Rumor on the street suggests that the SBOE -- once they stop hyperventilating -- will extend the extra seven days of Early Voting at only the "primary" Early Voting sites, which in Watauga's case would be the courthouse/Admin bldg., and at no satellite sites. Then the last ten days would open up the proposed satellite sites.

There are budgetary issues at play here. Seven more days of Early Voting mean seven more days of wages for poll workers.

It's all a mess, a mess of their own making. It's a plumb grievous thing when another of your Republican laws gets thumped down as unconstitutional.


gercohenJoMC712 said...

I'm OK with the five extra weekdays at the primary site in each county tagged on to the hours match because it will mean much MORE early voting total hours than 2012, but ONLY if each county has to also have early voting that new extra Saturday or Sunday. Remember the 4th circuit criticized eliminating the first Sunday which 7 or 8 counties used in 2012. Of course strongly support Plemmons rather than Legends. I read through the compelling 120 page minority plan

gercohenJoMC712 said...

I think we will see the State Board issue guidance this afternoon

gercohenJoMC712 said...

I saw state board staff at Wake elections case in federal court today in Raleigh. early voting guidance will come out Wednesday morning.

gercohenJoMC712 said...

New early vote plans must be adopted.l by August 19. Previous adopted plan voided by NCSBE. Guidance issued at 5 pm today is here.