July 11, 2018/Press

Backdoor Voter Suppression Comes to Light as GOP Fights a Voting Site on NC’s Biggest College Campus

Raleigh – Last night, Republicans voted down allowing a voting site on the largest college campus in the state, a political move that lays bare how the Republican legislatures’ sweeping changes to local and county boards of elections and repeated attempts to control the state Board of Elections over the past year was nothing but a backdoor voter suppression effort all along.

Democrats have warned that legislative Republicans’ efforts to change the local, county, and state boards of election and bring them under the control of the legislature were akin to backdoor voter suppression.

Deadlocked county boards would be forced to kick their voting plans to the state Board of Elections which, had Republicans’ past efforts been successful, the legislature would have full control over. Under the Republicans construction, the SBOE would be split 4-4 and vulnerable to deadlock; Republicans are trying again to create a 4-4 board through a proposed constitutional amendment.

These efforts would lead to new efforts to restrict access to the ballot box – like refusing to put a voting site on the largest college campus in NC. (via News & Observer):

The state elections board will decide on the locations and hours of early voting sites in Wake County, after local election leaders disagreed along party lines Tuesday.

The Wake County Board of Elections voted 2-2, with Democrats for and Republicans against the idea of offering early voting on the N.C. State University campus this fall.

The nine-member North Carolina Board of Elections will now make the final decision on all of the county’s early voting locations.

N.C. State University has more than 40,000 students, faculty, and staff who attend or work at the university. Young students tend to vote Democratic. Just as Republicans successfully closed the early voting site at Appalachian State University in the past, now they’re trying to do the same for the largest university in North Carolina.

It remains to be seen whether the largest college campus in North Carolina will get a voting site – but last night’s move makes clear that Republicans intentions all along were to suppress the vote.

“From day one it’s been clear that legislative Republicans’ efforts to control the county and state boards of elections have been about suppressing the vote, and now we’re seeing these efforts firsthand,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “Republicans have shown repeatedly that they’ll try every trick in the book to rig our elections. The only way to stop them is to break the majority this fall.”