by Sam Hieb
As you probably are aware, early voting is an issue here in North Carolina, with an NBC News analysis concluding “long wait times may bear out recent concerns that the controversial Republican-backed cuts to early voting, in combination with other voting changes and population growth, could restrict access to the ballot in some areas.”
(Interesting footnote—NBC characterizes Greensboro as a “predominantly African-American city.” While Gboro certainly has a thriving black community, I wouldn’t describe it as “predominantly African-American.”)
So you can imagine my surprise when listening to NPR’s “Fresh Air” last night to hear this interesting bit of information on the state of New York. Fresh Air host Terry Gross was interviewing Rick Hasen, founder of the Election Law Blog and author of the book “The Voting Wars.” Gross asked Hasen about early voting (emphasis mine):
There have been fights between Democrats and Republicans over extending early voting or cutting it back, and this has led to some litigation. There are some states – Pennsylvania is probably at the top of that list, put New York on there, some Northeastern states – that offer no early voting, that offer no absentee balloting for people who don’t have a good excuse, like being unable to get to the polling place because of a disability or being out of the country. So there are some places where voting is still very hard. And some of these states – take New York, you know, you’ve had Democrats in charge for a long time, and yet voting is still more difficult than it needs to be.
As for federal —“universal” voter registration—Hasen adds it’s “the kind of system I like to say that has unified Democrats or Republicans. They all hate it…” Why would Democrats hate it? Because it would involve voter ID…..