Early voting presents problems

Published 11:19 am Thursday, October 20, 2016

To the Editor:

The decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (4th Circuit Court of Appeals) on North Carolina’s new election law has brought about much discussion about its implications. What I have not seen is a discussion on what the decision says about the voters of North Carolina.

Many implications about North Carolina voters are indicated by the decision and those who support that decision. The implications that have been implied by the decision include such items as laziness, inability to know where to vote, a lack of knowledge as to when to vote, inability to register in a timely manner, an inability to get to a voting place, and the support for voter fraud.

I am 73 years old. I have known for most of my life that Election Day in the United States is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as set in 1845 some 171 years ago. Are North Carolinians so ignorant that they cannot remember this fact that is almost carved in stone!

There are many states that require picture identification (ID) card to vote. Why should North Carolina be different? The new law allowed several different types of picture ID cards to be used as identification to vote. Not only did the new law allow numerous ID cards but contained in the law was the ability to get a picture ID card free by going to the local driver’s testing facility. Are North Carolinians that lazy that they cannot get to the local driver’s testing facility for the free picture ID card? If a North Carolinian wishes to get to Wal-Mart or any other store for that manner they will find a way, therefore they could easily find a way to the local driver’s testing facility!

When individuals register to vote in North Carolina they are sent a postcard telling them which polling place to go to. What happened to this postcard? Do North Carolinians simply throw the postcard in the garbage rather than maintain them?

In most states voters must register to vote several days, weeks, or months before Election Day. It only takes common sense to understand the reasoning for the separation of registering and voting. The local Election Board needs time to verify who the individual that has registered is before they should allow him or her to vote.

Our Election Day has been set for decades. Early voting is a rather new phenomena. Early voting presents a number of problems for the voter and the local Election Board. The voter must insure that they live beyond Election Day for their vote to be valid. The local Election Board should be comparing deaths prior to Election Day to insure that anyone who voted early has not died which makes their vote invalid. The additional cost of operating a number of polling places should be of concern to the taxpayers of North Carolina both at the state and local level. The longer the early voting period the higher the cost; North Carolinians are not made of money!

Unlike those who support the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision I believe that North Carolinians are very industrious and most, if not all, have the intellect to remember when to vote and where to vote.

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount