According to a few mainstream media reports, the North Carolina State Board of Elections held a meeting on Tuesday, September 4, and by a three-member Democratic majority, approved adding more voting locations or hours to early voting sites in Wake and several other counties across the state.
What has not been reported was that during the same meeting the Board announced that they had changed the deadline to transmit mail-in absentee ballots from 60 days prior to the election to 45 days prior to the election. These absentee ballots were scheduled to begin to be mailed out on September 7th. At this time the State Board has not “corrected” their website, here is the link to the State Board of Elections website elections calendar. The deadline of 60 days prior to a general election is also clearly stated on the State Board’s Military and Absentee Voting by Mail website page.
There was a delay in mail-in absentee ballot delivery in 2010 also. Here is my blog from September 8, 2010 reporting on absentee voting delayed. As in 2010, I submit that this action will impact and diminish the military vote.
Seeing that the Military Voter Project, in an August article, has already painted a bleak picture in projecting Military voter turnout in the 2012 General Election, North Carolina’s move to delay absentee ballot delivery can only make things worse. The Military Voter Project article even uses North Carolina as an example of a state with low absentee ballot request rates for military voters. So what is the State Board of Elections thinking?
At the September 4 meeting, the State Board Chairman, Larry Leake, said they will make every effort to comply with the 60 day rule and stated that ballots should be available on or before September 21, 2012.
Civitas thought voters should be given a better idea as to when to expect the ballots they request; so we made calls to all 100 counties yesterday and this morning. This spreadsheet will give you an idea as to where your county is in the mail-in absentee balloting process.
We found that 46 counties have not received their ballots from the printers yet. Of the counties that have begun the process only 15 of them mailed ballots out on or before the 60 day deadline and 39 counties have just begun the process this week.
Of special note, North Carolina’s largest counties, Mecklenburg and Wake do not plan to mail their ballots until September 21 and 22 respectively. And, Cumberland County, a county with many military voters, said that they had their ballots, but did not intend to mail them until next week. Several of the counties suggested that the delay was due to the Democratic Convention - but seeing that 15 counties had their ballots in hand and were mailing them on Friday – this excuse didn’t hold water.
Where is the outrage for mail-in absentee voting? Ronald Penny State Board of Elections member, asserted that 15 early voting sites in Wake County was not enough and is quoted in this article saying that the Wake County plan “puts an undue burden on my ability to vote.” Mr. Penny even said he was “still struggling with my right to suffrage.”
So now Wake County has 16 early voting sites instead of 15. How many early voting sites will it take to make the left happy? I know, I know, until there is unlimited voting anywhere anyone wants to vote - liberals will not be happy. Here’s to chaos.