Commentary

Editorial: Time for GOP to put up or shut up on “voter fraud” claims

This morning’s editorial in the Fayetteville Observer gets it right in its assessment of the repeated and perpetually unsubstantiated claims of state GOP leaders that new laws are necessary to attack “voter fraud” in North Carolina elections. As the editorial points out, if there’s any area to look at in this regard, it’s absentee voting — an area Republicans always ignore because their older and wealthier supporters tend to make use of it so much. Here’s the Observer:

“Here they come again. The election reformers in the General Assembly are getting ready to make another charge. Given the scant evidence they’re provided so far, they’re tilting at windmills.

But that apparently won’t stop the efforts that are to many people — including some federal judges — a clear attempt to disenfranchise Democrats rather than a move to protect the sanctity of the vote.

State Senate leader Phil Berger said last week that election laws will be examined again in the upcoming session, which opens next week. Berger says he sees a ‘potential for fraud.’

But when former Gov. Pat McCrory narrowly lost his re-election bid, his supporters filed wild claims of fraud all over the state. And every one of them was found bogus — by state and local boards of elections with Republican majorities that were appointed by McCrory himself.

We’re happy to see measures that target real voter fraud. Hint to Berger, et al: Make absentee voting more secure.

The length of early voting periods, the location of polling places and even voter ID aren’t measures needed to prevent fraud.

If there’s substantial evidence to disprove that point, then please bring it forward. But so far, those fraud charges have proved  — well, fraudulent. It’s really time to put up or shut up, don’t you think?”

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