Commentary

Editorial: Extend voter registration deadlines in aftermath of deadly storm

voteWith Hurricane Matthew’s flood waters not yet receded, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of people in our state are not in a position right now to get the details of their lives fully in order. This would clearly include registering to vote. While the recent action of the federal Court of Appeals striking down the state’s “monster voting law” (and thereby reviving same day registration — which will allow people to register on Election Day and vote at the same time) will help, it’s still ridiculous that the state is not pushing back today’s voter registration deadline. An editorial in today’s Fayetteville Observer does a good job of making this point:

Here’s the conclusion:

“Registration deadline is today, but the board has told local officials to accept mailed-in registrations that arrive late. The board also notes that same-day registration is available at all early-voting sites, which will be open from Oct. 20 through Nov. 5.

At this point, it’s not clear that all early-voting sites will be able to open by next Thursday. It’s fortuitous that the courts struck down state voting reform legislation and that same-day registration is still an option. But it may not be enough in some of this state’s hardest-hit communities.

We hope the State Board of Elections will reconsider its decision to hold firm to its deadlines. Even if only a handful of would-be voters is unable to register, that’s a denial of the most basic American right.”

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