Saturday, January 11, 2014

Voter Suppression: The Real Problem: II: Changing and Shortening Voting Hours

NC Governor Pat McCrory: “We didn’t shorten early voting, we compacted the calendar.”

In recent years extended voting hours and early voting processes have allowed voters who work long hours or who will be traveling on election day to cast their vote. In this decade Republicans have been successful in shortening the hours in which polling stations are open.

Those most affected by these cuts are working people-- and especially those who work long hours. In other words, voters likely to vote for Democrats.

I could cite dozens of insteances, but let's choose just two. For examples, I've selected cases that don't sound all that bad at first glance.

In June, 2012 Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal agreed with the legislature to shorten voting hours on Saturday election day. The difference wasn't much-- just one hour. Polls would open at 7 am instead of 6 am-- but for people working on weekends with early shifts that left no time for voting.

Here's another example. In North Carolina, the voting schedule was reaarranged. In keeping with the law the total number of hours the polls were open remained the same, but seven days of early voting was eliminated. Republican Governor Pat McCrory infamously said, “We didn’t shorten early voting, we compacted the calendar.”

Doesn't sound like much, does it? But cumulatively, millions of voters have been disenfranchised by Republican-led efforts to suppress voting by shortening polling hours and early registration.


Jindal agrees to shorter election day voting hours. (2012, 12 June). WWLTV News. Read it here.

Isquith, Elias. (2013, 20 November). North Carolina’s GOP governor: “We didn’t shorten early voting, we compacted the calendar.” Salon. Read it here.

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