Cooper must veto this anti-voter bill
Every eligible voter in North Carolina should have the opportunity to vote and have their ballot counted — including North Carolinians who find themselves unexpectedly ill, or who have to travel last-minute for work.
Unfortunately, the N.C. General Assembly has once again decided to create barriers to voting by reinstating restrictive ballot delivery deadlines that they themselves voted to expand 12 years ago.
A bill recently passed by the N.C. legislature shortens the delivery time absentee ballots can be received and counted. Absentee ballots sent on time should be counted, even when the U.S. mail is running slower than we would like.
If Senate Bill 326 had been in effect in 2020, 11,000 ballots would have been tossed out. People argue that they have not heard of someone’s vote not being counted, but this would certainly be the case if these ballots were thrown out.
Shortening the allowed delivery will cause massive confusion among voters accustomed to the 3-day delivery grace period. It removes the grace period voters have grown accustomed to. What once provided a sense of relief to those with last-minute emergencies, could now become an added stress.
If SB 326 is allowed to stand, voters can no longer feel confident that their ballot will arrive in time even when they complete and deliver it to the post office on Election Day.
The pandemic is not over. We continue to see delays in mail service. These delays should not prevent North Carolinians from having their vote counted.
Limiting mail-in ballots is another attempt to rewrite the 2020 election and discount the more than 1 million N.C. voters who used this option.
Absentee voting is a choice for busy North Carolinians who value the flexibility it affords. More importantly, it has served as a fail-safe protection for voters who have last-minute family emergencies or illness.
Unfortunately, this option is being whittled away by our legislature. Life is full of surprises. Having your ballot thrown out should not be one of them. We call on Gov. Roy Cooper to veto SB326.
President, League of Women Voters of Wake County
Gerald D. Givens Jr.
President, NAACP of Raleigh-Apex
Published 12/2/2021, Raleigh News & Observer