Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Whole Story about Voter Reforms in NC

Much has been said and written about the election law reform legislation known as VIVA (Voter Identification Verification Act – HB 589) – but too many of the reports are misleading or just plain wrong.


The legislation was passed in the 2013 legislative session and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in August. Mostly, the old guard media have focused on just three provisions of the new law — the voter ID requirement, the elimination of same day registration and the shortened early voting window. These three parts of the law are the most controversial, so focusing on them gives liberal advocacy groups a platform on which to continue their assault on the people who support election reform. These three items are also the main targets of several lawsuits brought against the law filed by liberal advocacy groups, including the NAACP. Attorney General Eric Holder also announced that lawyers for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division had filed suit against the law in October.


But the media have never acknowledged the bigger picture: VIVA is the first comprehensive updating of our election laws in decades. North Carolina’s election system had become a jumble of complicated and sometimes contradictory laws and administrative decisions made by the State Board of Elections, often with little or no regard for the legislature. The voting process had become confusing and dysfunctional, with no built-in security to protect the integrity of a person’s vote.

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