Commentary

The best editorial of the weekend

Yet another major editorial board has weighed in against the latest voter suppression proposal from Jones Street. In “Restructuring early voting is suspect,” the editorial board of the Winston-Salem Journal does a neat job of describing the flaws in a bill sent to Gov. Cooper that would alter the state’s rules on early voting. After noting that the new proposal wrongfully does away with voting on the final Saturday prior to Election Day and puts unnecessary strains on local elections boards, the editorial concludes this way:

“Republicans have been thrusting and parrying with voting options since they took control of the legislature. Like their court-rejected approaches to redistricting and voter ID laws, they seem to want to reduce the opportunities for voters they deem not to be Republicans. If they can’t win fair and square, they’ll change the rules.

There’s no reason for any of this. There’s no voter fraud to be blunted, no cost factor to be mitigated, no petition from the public. This is simply about politics and control, an effort to reduce the vote, thus favoring the Republicans who are already entrenched in their offices.

Voting is the most inalienable of rights in our Constitution, and it is un-American and undemocratic for a legislative body to arbitrarily reduce the size of the voting pool and the opportunities to vote.

As of this writing, the bill sits on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk, awaiting his signature or his veto. Even though a veto is likely to be overridden, it would be the right thing to do.

There are some changes to our voting laws that could be beneficial, like increasing the days and hours for early voting, including Sunday afternoons, and increasing voter registration drives and voter education.

It may also be beneficial to elect legislators who are devoted to increasing voting opportunities rather than reducing them.

Changing the rules to make voting more difficult should always be suspect.”

 

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