Release election funds

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To the Editor:

The right to vote is at the core of what makes us American, and the product of the enduring vision and sacrifice of many who came before us. Unfortunately, Republicans in our state Legislature are working to make it harder for millions of eligible North Carolinians to cast their votes and be heard this fall.

Today, there are more than $4 million in federal funds sitting idle in an NC account that would let the state Board of Elections ensure North Carolina doesn’t become the next Florida from the 2000 election cycle. This money would go to help counties open Early Voting sites, train poll workers, make polling sites accessible for seniors and people with disabilities, and upgrade voting equipment. With new districts and newly split precincts this year, election officials will need all the tools they can get to ensure efficiency and access for all eligible voters.

There is no doubt this will be a historic election year, and the eyes of the country will be on North Carolina. If the Republicans in this state see keeping more and more voters at home on election day as their best path to victory, it says a lot about their priorities and respect for us as their constituents.

I am urging our state Legislature to put politics aside and do what is right. Release the funding so the Board of Elections can help our critical state of North Carolina avoid the chaos Florida endured in 2000, and ensure a smooth, fair and accessible election for all voters.

Beaufort County Democratic Party