Politics and polling

It’s bad enough that within the helpless “community” individual voters will have to prove who they are at the polls—thanks to the mean, uncaring Republicans at the N. C. State General Assembly who recently passed a voter ID law—but now, the New Hanover County Board of Elections creates another social injustice.

Despite the Wilmington StarNews Editorial Board view that new polling places being moved from private to public buildings will give election officials “more control,” what about elderly, disabled and minority voters? If, as previous editorials have suggested, these people haven’t the ability to identify themselves, how are they going to find their way to new polling places? (link)

Clearly, this new election policy could disenfranchise hundreds (if not thousands) of voters.

Editors observe that “traffic and parking can present serious problems on Election Day.” Yet, some previous polling sites have been moved to places at UNC-Wilmington; one of the most congested and confusing areas in the county to find a specific building and a legal parking space.

(Churches are unacceptable to StarNews editors despite the fact that large numbers of black people are churchgoers. Bigots at the Devon Park United Methodist Church polling place, editors say, “urged voters to approve” the 2012 amendment banning same sex marriage in North Carolina—unconscionable.)

But what about the election rules on “neutrality” at the public polling sites? How will minorities know who and what issues to vote for? I understand that the “racist” Republicans have eliminated straight party voting ballots. How unfair. This will put Democrat voters at a terrible disadvantage.

And how about “millions” of riders (we’re told by WAVE Transit officials) who apparently have no alternative ways to the polls except by public buses? How will they get to polling places from bus stops?

I suspect a Republican conspiracy in all this. In addition to realigning some voting districts so Republicans will have majority numbers in political offices, they probably have arranged it so all county election boards will be controlled by them. That’s why Democrats want to vote early—and often.

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About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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