Friday, October 18, 2013

Voter Misinformation Abounds with Unanswered Questions

From the NAACP to the liberal left to Democrats to the media, rampant attacks have been launched on the Voter ID Bill in North Carolina and other areas though the courts have upheld similar laws in Georgia and South Carolina
Help America Vote Act is the name of a federal 2002 law not unique to North Carolina.  HAVA was instituted to ensure that only citizens vote per the US Constitution’s mandate as well as that the voter is who he/she says he/she is.  NC has termed a part of its supportive similar legislation Voter Information Verification Act or “VIVA” (S.L. 2013-381) with photo ID required except for those over 70, having religious objections, in cases of natural disasters or those needing curbside assistance.  Public opinion polls suggest 70% support for this.  Where people don’t have such a document, one will be provided without charge through the Department of Motor Vehicles and likely other options will be given before 2016’s full implementation. 

This act is in no way a voter suppression effort as those who malign it have tried to define it.  Every citizen can vote and is encouraged to do so with a series of outreach and educational efforts suggested for the county boards of election.  It must be noted that it is the counties which determine early voting sites. This is usually based on population locations spread throughout the counties.  These decisions all rest within the province of county boards of election.

 As of noon for  the first day of early voting at the Rowan County Public Library, one of the main voter locations in Salisbury, NC, only 11 people had appeared to vote.  The amount of money spent for these low turnout off year election efforts is a rightful concern as county expendable dollars shrink.  Voter suppression is more by voters who won’t vote rather than any planned effort by dominating parties. 

The NC Voter ID Law had one major problem that all are remiss in not discussing publicly which relates to how student voters are handled.  In Elizabeth City, NC a student there petitioned to run for the city council while being a resident in a dorm.  His initial denial was overturned on appeal to the Board of Elections in appreciation that the Supreme Court of the state and nation had ruled that students who live on campus have a right to vote.  That is not the issue.  The question is where? 

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