On the final day of early voting in North Carolina, it’s worth remembering that we had almost twice as many days to early vote in prior years, opportunities that women and African-American communities use most to cast their political picks at the polls.
The reason we have 10 versus 17 early voting days this year is simple: the state’s Senate leaders were intent on limiting North Carolinians access to the polls. They proposed and passed limits not simply cutting early voting short by a week, but also eliminating same-day registration for early voting, ending pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds who will be 18 on Election Day, and cutting short voting on the Saturday before the election (that’s today).
The legislation also passed the state House with the support of speaker Thom Tillis and with Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature.
Now, in addition to the ills above, polls can no longer be held open an extra hour on Election Day for “extraordinary circumstances.” And the law makes it easier to challenge voters’ legitimacy and removes the option of voting for a party’s entire ticket at once.
Democratic state Sen. Josh Stein called the law a “monstrosity.” The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights labeled it “the single worst bill we have seen introduced since voter suppression bills began sweeping the country two years ago.”
Now’s our final chance to make our voices heard on the issue. Vote today or on Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
For candidates who support your right to vote, check out our custom NARAL Pro-Choice NC Voters’ Guide.