With all the controversy surrounding the proposed voter ID law in North Carolina, I thought I should see how it compares with the rest of the country. I was surprised to find out that only 32 states allow early voting. Nice to see North Carolina is one of them. I was even more surprised to see many of the states that do not allow it are largely Democratic supporters such as New York, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Secondly, the issue of N.C. repealing same-day registration: Currently there are only 10 states and the District of Columbia that allow same-day registration. After reading much of the media coverage concerning this, I was certain N.C. was the last state to not have it available.
Our third conflict is the decrease of the early voting period from 17 days to 10 days. Is this unfair? Well, Oklahoma has the shortest early-voting period of three days and Vermont allows up to 45 days ahead of an election to cast your vote. The national average appears to be around 15 days.
Lastly, I wasn't sure how many states are requiring a photo ID when casting a vote. Thirty-four states have passed voter ID laws. Of those, 11 states require photo ID to be presented when voting. In addition, seven more states are in the process of making that law as well. Again, I found it interesting that Pennsylvania and Michigan are among those.
I am not inclined to think the N.C. voter ID law is some egregious affront to the citizens of North Carolina. Actually, it seems like common sense, especially when I can't even change my cell phone text package without first showing photo identification.
Brett Rodler, Apex
In Mr. Weintraub's letter [Back Talk, Oct. 30], he made this statement about statistically insignificant incidents that he infers should therefore be ignored in any social action: Out of the "more than 379,000 conceal-carry permits active in North Carolina," I consider five abuses in seven years statistically insignificant.
The N.C. Legislature passed the infamous voter ID laws to prevent a type of voter fraud that has not been documented to occur in the state. Thus, we have new legislation with new requirements for many more people than the active conceal-carry permit holders for an even less statistically significant reason.
This is the same legislature that instituted the change in the conceal-carry laws to expand the ability to carry in places that do not primarily serve alcohol and where the permit holders cannot legally consume alcohol if they are armed.
It seems the rights of the establishment to decide whether they wish to allow those holders to carry or not is an issue between them and their client base—one that has not been allowed to legally carry a weapon in the past. The potential to lose some of the 379,000 permit holders' business can be weighed against the potential to lose a percentage of the rest of the population's business and a decision made by the business accordingly.
Wayne Stollings, Durham
As a 1980 Ph.D. graduate in forestry at N.C. State, I was horrified to learn they'd sell such a legacy as the Hofmann Forest. I am now at Oregon State University and there would be pitchforks in the streets if it tried to sell 14,000 acres of college forests.
The fact that the trustees would go along with this says horrible things about the long-term priorities of N.C. State University. This is literally a giant land grab. By my estimate as an owner of forest land in the state of North Carolina, the Hofmann is easily worth $3 billion. Someone has really lowballed the price of that land, given its location, its proximity to urban areas, the quality of the soil, etc.
Why on earth would the citizens of North Carolina ever agree to such a thing? Every time I visit my land there are more roads no one needs, crazy traffic, bad air and land sales that make no sense. Where I own land in the mountains, there are horrible problems due to nonexistent land-use policies. Why would anyone even think selling the Hofmann is a good idea?
Forget environmental issues; there will be cost overruns and all sorts of urban issues with this sale.
Robin Rose, Corvallis, Ore.