The right to vote is fundamental to the freedom we enjoy as Americans. The ability for every legal, registered voter to participate in our democratic process should not be a partisan issue. Unfortunately, Republicans in the legislature remain determined to do whatever they can to limit access to the ballot box.
This week’s legislation attempting to seize control of elections boards is the latest GOP attempt to curtail voting rights in North Carolina — and I intend to fight it.
Over the last several years, we have witnessed a long list of Republican actions aimed at reducing opportunities to vote. Unconstitutional legislative districts drawn on racial lines. A voter suppression bill that a federal court said targeted African-Americans with “surgical precision.” Republican Party leaders urging Republican county boards of elections to limit early voting to a single site. The list goes on.
This latest bill comes after Republicans have already been ruled out of bounds on this issue. Their first attempt to gain control of elections boards through a law passed in December was recently found unconstitutional. And now the legislature is at it again, simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The bill before the House today is another attempt to rig our state and county elections boards, doubling down on a Republican goal of reducing early voting, same-day registration, and other tools that make it easier to vote.
Instead of partisan power grabs, the legislature should be focused on creating good jobs, improving our schools, and helping communities rebuild from Hurricane Matthew.
I will always stand up to protect fair access to the ballot box. If this law comes to my desk, I will veto it and, if necessary I will take legal action to protect the integrity of our electoral system.