Senate Bill 325, The Uniform & Expanded Early Voting Act, would allow for the same number of days of early voting (seventeen).
The legislation would also require counties to open the same additional sites on the same days during the same hours. Under the current rules of in-person early voting, counties can open different sites on different days during different hours during the early voting period. An inconsistent and haphazard schedule can lead to voter confusion.
The proposed changes in SB 325 require that:
• Each one-stop site across the county shall be open at that same location during the period. • If any one-stop site across the county is opened on any day during the period, all one-stop sites in that county shall be open on that day. • On each weekday during the period, all one stop sites shall be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. • If the county board of elections opens one-stop sites on Saturdays during the period, then all one-stop sites shall be open for the same number of hours uniformly throughout the county on those Saturdays. • If the county board of elections opens one-stop sites on Sundays during the period, then all one stop sites shall be open for the same number of hours uniformly throughout the county on those Sundays.
The total number of days for (in-person) early voting will stay the same at seventeen (17). Early voting will now begin a day earlier, on the third Wednesday before Election Day. Doing so will add a whole day to the early voting period. The last day to vote, before Election Day, will be the Friday before Election Day. SB 325 will also eliminate the Saturday before Election Day as an early voting day. The change will give the county boards of election much needed extra time to prepare for Tuesday (Election Day). That will be one extra day for the local BOE’s to add absentee voter information to the poll books before the polls open Tuesday morning. Some on the Left are complaining that the “last day” of early voting will be eliminated. Of course, there will always be a last day of early voting. This legislation will actually make the new “last day” much longer. Currently, early voting sites are only open until 1 p.m. on the Saturday before Election Day. At most, those early voting places were open for 5 hours on the “last day.” Some counties only allowed 3 or 4 hours of early voting on the last Saturday. Now the early voting sites will be opened from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the “last day.”
The new and improved early voting time period will allow for a “last day” of voting that will be more than twice as long as before.
Civitas Action supports the legislature in their effort to expand early voting, while at the same time bring uniformity to the process.
Of equal importance, Civitas Action also supports the provision in SB 325 that would require county boards of elections to submit an annual report detailing voter list maintenance efforts. County BOE’s are required to maintain lists to remove voters who have moved or died. Bloated and corrupted voter rolls make voter fraud easy. SB 325 was ratified and sent to the Governor on June 15, 2018. SB 325 was vetoed by the Governor 10 days later on June 25 at 9:11 p.m.
Civitas Action supports the removal of government barriers to entry to occupations.
Civitas Action congratulates the House for unanimously approving HB 933, and has updated the House scores in its 2018 Freedom Rankings.
Civitas Action also fully intends to grade any votes taken on House Bill 933 by the Senate.
To track the 2018 votes, click here www.civitasaction.org.
Civitas Action is a 501(c)(4) non-profit that educates and informs North Carolinians on policy issues and the actions of their elected officials.