A House committee is expected to approve a bill requiring voters to produce photo IDs to cast a ballot. In February, the Elon University Poll found that 72 percent of North Carolinians support the idea of photo IDs to vote.
That approval of one change in the voting process doesn’t extend to supporting a shortening of the time people have to vote early. In its April polling, the Elon University Poll found that 58.8 percentage of respondents oppose a bill to shorten early voting by one week.
The Republican legislator said the bill is to save money, but opponents say it is intended to reduce the turnout and would effectively make it harder to vote.
In North Carolina, our poll indicates that the initiative doesn’t have strong support from Republicans (50 percent opposed), Democrats (72 percent opposed) or Independents (58 percent opposed).
An M.I.T study indicated that non-white voters waited longer in lines than white voters in the 2012 election. In our poll, only 18 percent of African Americans supported the change.
In our poll, the strongest opposition to the change came from among 18-30-year olds.
Reducing the time period for early voting is a Republican initiative in many states. According to the Houston Chronicle, eight states are considering proposals to reduce the number of days in which people can vote early. Two states — Florida and Ohio — are in the midst of court challenges.
It’s difficult to tell if this bill has much chance in North Carolina. It is, however, a Republican-controlled legislature. Still, any legislative action that takes convenience and flexibility away from people — even if it would save money — is rarely a popular gambit.
— John Robinson