In 2009, a bi-partisan bill was unanimously passed by the North Carolina Senate and House that changed the vote-by-mail deadline from Election Day to three days following the election. Now, North Carolina Senate Republicans – including the same ones who voted for the 2009 bill – are trying to revert to old ways. Why?
Maybe North Carolina Republicans are supporting the former president’s “big lie” that the 2020 election was rigged or perhaps they are upset that Democrats utilized mail-in-ballots at a 2:1 rate more than Republicans in the 2020 election.
“The goal of SB 326 is to build new barriers to each person’s freedom to vote,” said NCDP spokesperson Rachel Stein. “While Republicans continue to push dangerous conspiracy theories and change voting laws to try and rig elections in their favor, North Carolina Democrats believe that free and fair elections are fundamental to our democracy and are fighting to protect every person’s sacred right to vote.”
- From 2010-2016, more Republicans voted by mail than Democrats, and Republicans didn’t try to change the vote-by-mail deadline. But in 2018 and 2020 more Democrats than Republicans utilized vote-by-mail and now, suddenly Republicans believe not all ballots cast by Election Day should be counted.
- Republican Senator Paul Newton claims that the three day grace period has been “abused” in North Carolina and has caused lack of trust. If that were really true it would have been addressed in the 11 years since the initial 2009 bill passed both chambers. This lack of trust isn’t from a delay in absentee voting but an attempt to raise questions about our elections to prop up a coordinated attack on voting rights from Republicans across the country.
- If anti-voter bills like SB 326 pass, more than 11,000 ballots wouldn’t have been counted in the 2020 election. That means 11,000 North Carolinians would have lost their freedom to vote due to an unfair process.
While Senator Newton believes that “government can’t ensure every vote counts” North Carolina Democrats will continue to fight to ensure that every eligible voter has a fair chance to exercise their right to vote.