Action Alert – NCGOP Budget & Election IntegrityBy
For the last couple of years there’s been much debate over Republican efforts across the nation to restrict voting. Whether it’s the thousands of people who would be affected by VoterID, or the way your County Commission votes were restricted right here in Buncombe, many Republicans seem intent on compromising the power of the people to elect their representatives.
This latest budgetary move really drives home the message that leaders won’t prioritize the foundation of our democracy, ballot access. We know that high turnout is usually bad for Republican chances, so what’s the plan? Under The Dome:
“Absent from the proposed budget is a previously-included $664,000 appropriation that would automatically release $4 million in federal funds to maintain and improve [North Carolina's] election system.”
Election officials from more than 85 counties have sent a letter to legislative leaders urging them to release $4 million designated for improving the administration of the 2012 elections.
The funds come from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 and are already in a NC bank account. But as the folks at Democracy North Carolina have pointed out, the General Assembly must appropriate an additional $660,000 to the State Board of Election to meet certain federal guidelines before the final $4 million can be spent.
What will be the result of decreased funding? Aside from fewer poll workers, less technical support, less testing of voting equipment, “counties would likely be forced to operate 100 fewer early voting sites than were available in 2008.”
You can let NC Republican leaders know if you’d like to see them release the money to ensure the integrity of our elections and maximize the people’s access to voting. Click here to use the Democracy NC form. You can let the Governor know whether you’d like to see her veto this budget by emailing her here: firstname.lastname@example.org