With 2024 just around the corner and a recent history of not-so-secure and honest election procedures, many states are looking to change a few things soon. North Carolina is one such state. And thanks to a Republican majority in both legislative chambers, the Democratic governor and his party’s wishes have just been overruled.
As I said, North Carolina, like many states, is looking for ways to improve their elections to make them more secure and trustworthy.
One such plan is to take control of the election boards out of the hands of the governor’s party and give them to a wholly bipartisan group. According to SB 749, the new election boards will be required to have an even split of Democrats and Republicans.
Naturally, since the Democrats are in control of those election boards at the moment, they are decrying such change as a “threat to democracy.” Those are, in fact, the exact words Democratic Governor Roy Cooper used to describe the bill when he recently vetoed it.
According to him, it would threaten democracy by creating a gridlock for early voting sites and certifying results. As he wrote in a September 28 statement, “The legislative takeover of state and local elections boards could doom our state’s elections to gridlock and severely limit early voting. It also creates a grave risk that Republican legislators or courts would be empowered to change the results of an election if they don’t like the winner.”
Umm, I think he missed the part about the new election boards being bipartisan, as in not just Republicans or the controlling legislative party are in charge.
Luckily, the North Carolina legislature had a three-fifths majority, making it veto-proof. The bill was passed in the Senate with a 30-19 vote and in the House, 72-44.
And much to Cooper and his party’s chagrin, SB 749 was not the only bill the legislative houses could override.
They also kicked Cooper’s veto of SB 747 to the curb.
This law will allow for limits to be put on how long an absentee ballot can be counted after the election.
The Democrats, including Cooper, consider this a power grab for the Republicans, claiming they will unnecessarily toss out valid votes. Additionally, they (Cooper) say it will restrict early voting, absentee ballots and encourage “voter intimidation and attempts to give Republican legislators the authority to decide contested election results.”
Again, I’m not sure how this is partisan.
It seems to me that an election board made up of equal parts Democrats and Republicans won’t just be siding with what the GOP wants. And neither will just Democrats be affected by tossing out late absentee ballots.
As GOP State Representative Grey Mills says, “The one thing this bill does do is it does improve voting in elections for the entire state. It’s not killing early voting – we’re improving early voting.”
But because the Democrats will no longer be in control, they have a big problem with it.
Good thing for majority rules…