Hundreds of N.C. voters disenfranchised in 2014 Primary | News | Indy Week
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hundreds of N.C. voters disenfranchised in 2014 Primary

Posted by on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

A veteran who had just returned from Afghanistan. A nurse working outside of her county temporarily. A disabled senior who was driven to a friend’s polling place on Election Day.

These are three of the 454 North Carolina voters who cast provisional ballots in the May primary elections but whose votes were not counted due to the state’s new election laws— because they couldn’t register to vote on Election Day, or they couldn’t cast ballots outside of their precincts.

Bob Hall, the executive director of elections watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, analyzed the 454 provisional ballots cast in this year’s primaries that were not counted. He concluded that the provisional ballots cast by people like the veteran, the nurse and the senior citizen would have counted in 2012, whereas in 2014 they did not due to changes in the law affecting voter registration and polling locations.

The General Assembly enacted the new voting law in 2013, ostensibly to reduce voter fraud. But Hall pointed out that the problem of voter fraud is minuscule in comparison to the numbers of voters who will be disenfranchised under the new voting law, through means like eliminating same-day registration, removing voting precincts from college campuses and reducing the number of early voting days from 17 to 10.

“There are maybe 3, 4, 5 cases of voter fraud each election cycle, but there are hundreds denied the right to vote by this law,” Hall said. “Thousands in the general election could be disenfranchised. It may be a small percentage, but these are real people. It doesn’t make sense to change the whole system to take care of the fantasy of voter fraud.”

With only one month left to the day for North Carolinians to register to vote in the mid-term election in November, Democracy North Carolina, the North Carolina chapter of the ACLU and Ignite NC are urging people to register in time and at the correct address, and to find out their precinct and go to the correct polling place on Election Day to make sure their votes are counted. And if you're worried on Election Day that your vote won't be counted for some reason, report it to the ACLU or the Election Protection hotline. 

“Politicians are choosing their own voters, when voters should be the ones choosing them,” said North Carolina ACLU policy director Sarah Preston.

Primary voters' provisional ballots, rejected by the numbers *

Orange County: 0
Durham County: 38
Wake County: 26



 



Total



White



Black



Other non-white



Race Unknown



Democrat



Republican



Libertarian



Unaffiliated



# of voters’ ballots denied



454



204



178



35



37



260



121



3



70



% of denied voters who are



100%



45%



39%



8%



8%



57%



27%



.7%



15%



%of 1.03 million voters in primary who are



100%



78%



19%



2%



1%



44%



38%



.1%



18%



% of 6.52 million registered voters who are



100%



71%



22%



5%



2%



42%



31%



.4%



27%



*Numbers from Democracy North Carolina; more than 3,000 provisional ballots were cast in total during the May primaries









               
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