Thanks to recent election reforms, more than 400,000 North Carolinians already have cast their ballots in the Nov. 4 elections. Some have even waited in line for hours to do so.
The evidence is clear: early voting and other election reforms work.
Since the advent of early voting in 2004, state and county boards of elections around North Carolina have made great strides in expanding the right to vote to all North Carolinians. Polls now are open on Saturdays and even Sunday afternoons in some counties, helping those who previously had no way to vote on Election Day make their voice heard.
The creation and expansion of early voting has unequivocally improved American democracy. Regardless of your political views, we can all agree that voting in our country is not a privilege, but a right, and that elections should be decided by the many, not the few. Fundamentally, we are a nation built on the principle of “one person, one vote.”
Boards of elections, at the state and local level, work tirelessly to prepare for elections. They do not, as some partisans have suggested, make their choices in collusion with any candidate or party, and they do not make or abandon plans on a whim. The entire voting process, from early voting to Election Day to counting the vote, is done with thoughtful planning and consideration.
In turn, such thoughtful consideration has allowed our democracy to grow and strengthen, by the expansion of voting rights. If we are, indeed, a democratic country, we should celebrate the work and reforms that make our system more accessible today than it was yesterday.