When the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out North Carolina's new election laws, it also threw out a requirement that Early Voting hours in 2016 equal Early Voting hours in 2012 (at least).
Ah ha! cried Republican-dominated county boards of elections. We can now reduce Early Voting under legal cover. That intention in Guilford County led to the uprising we saw earlier this week.
Bill Aceto (doing the bidding of County Attorney Stacy C. "Four" Eggers) has decided to push that envelope even further. All county board members were told at this week's statewide training session that they had to meet to consider Early Voting options in light of the Fourth Circuit. "Let's don't risk a public meeting!" -- appears to be Four Eggers' thinking. Plus ... no meeting means no official plan for Early Voting ... means this:
The Eggers-Aceto maneuver would default Watauga County's Early Voting to only one location -- the Board of Elections office on the first floor of the County Courthouse. That would be around 17,000 expected early voters (150 voters per hour) trying to find a parking place in downtown Boone to cast their ballots in the Board of Elections office.
More specifically, the Eggers-Aceto scheme would close all satellite Early Voting sites in the county -- all of them, including the ones in Blowing Rock, Deep Gap, Meat Camp, and on the campus of ASU -- and force everyone to come to the Courthouse, pass through metal detectors, and try to vote in a room not big enough for a good case of prickly heat.
Why are EggersAceto pushing in that direction? They'll do anything to keep from having Early Voting on the campus of ASU. They'll do anything, including not calling a meeting of the BOE to adopt an Early Voting plan. Anything, including closing all Early Voting sites in the county, imposing long lines and impossible conditions on the voting public.
Kim Strach, the Executive Director of the State BOE, has asked all local boards of elections to keep waiting lines for voting to no more than 15 minutes. If EggersAceto succeed in locating all Early Voting in the BOE office, expect wait times at around four hours.
That's voter suppression on steroids.
Why Four Eggers Absolutely Must Suppress Student Voting
Four's job as county attorney is on the line. In presidential years, especially, ASU students tend to turn out in large numbers. When ASU students turn out in large numbers, sometimes there's turn-over in the County Commission. Turn-over in the County Commission means Four Eggers loses his job and hundreds of bill-able hours.
Four Eggers deserves that comeuppance, no?