Archived Opinion

Voting rights bill deserves support

Voting rights bill deserves support

To the Editor:

Voting records show that North Carolina and Haywood County had the largest voter turnout ever in the last election. That’s great, because our democracy depends on citizens voting. And that’ whey it’s important to understand the proposed voting rights act that is heading to the U.S. Senate for consideration. It was created from well-established voting practices, from both red and blue states. 

The proposed law would ensure that registered voters in all states have access to early voting for at least 14 days. Were you one of the 23,256 Haywood County residents who voted early? Both Republican and Democratic voters regularly take advantage of early voting. Currently, 39 states provide for early voting. Why not adopt this for all states? 

Do you know someone who registered to vote at the DMV while renewing their license? This was a time saver for me. My friends have also registered to vote online via the N.C. State Board of Election website. Sixteen states already offer this type of voter registration. The proposed law would expand these conveniences to all states. Doesn’t that make sense? 

More voters cast their ballots by mail in 2020 than ever before, including 6,197 in Haywood County. And 29 states, from Alaska to Florida, currently allow voters to request a mail-in ballot without providing an excuse. This law will standardize procedures for voting by mail to make them secure, easy to navigate, and limit rejections of ballots cast by eligible voters. Why not implement best practices for all states? 

Some people say that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in elections. Article I, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the authority to enact voting laws. These laws have historically been supported by both Republicans and Democrats.   

Over 60 percent of Americans across the political spectrum support this law. Now is the time for unity. Republicans and Democrats can come together to strengthen and unify our voting system. Please contact Senators Tillis and Burr and ask them to support this voting rights act. 

One last thing. Would you like to see fewer political TV ads? This law will tackle the influence of big money in politics and prohibit foreign money in U.S. elections. Then maybe the political budgets will dry up and we can get back to watching “Dancing with the Stars.” 

Jean Wright

Franklin

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