By Jesse Wood
Oct. 24, 2014. In response to a ruling handed down recently involving the early-voting site on the campus of Appalachian State University, Civitas Review Online, a blog of the North Carolina-based conservative Civitas Institute, published an article on Wednesday, asking two questions:
“Has the State Board of Elections helped to set the precedent that will encourage judges to pick one-stop sites? And, as to one board member in a board of three or five making the decisions, should we ditch the whole idea of boards of elections, both local and state, and let the court’s make all the decisions?” author Susan Myrick asked.
After the State Board of Elections adopted a one-stop plan for Watauga County that didn’t include an early voting site on the college campus, local Democrats filed a lawsuit against the SBOE, claiming that the adopted plan was discriminatory to college-aged voters and violated the state and federal constitutions.
Last week, Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens ordered the plan back to the SBOE with the instructions to include a site on campus for early voting. Attorneys representing the SBOE appealed and won a temporary stay of the order. However, the N.C. Court of Appeals lifted that stay and upheld Stephens’ ruling.
Although the N.C. Supreme Court stepped in and allowed the stay to continue, it was about too late as the State Board of Elections had already met during an emergency meeting and selected a site on campus less than 24 hours before early voting was to begin. The SBOE never did schedule a second emergency later on Wednesday night – the night before early voting began.
Before posing those questions, Myrick in her article titled, “Judge Chooses North Carolina Early Voting Site,” concluded:
“Stephens seems to believe that voting is all about convenience. Stephens, in a statement said; “(It) is the responsibility of government to minimize inconvenience in voting, not maximize it.
“This decision may set a new standard for voting in the United States of America – forget about the Constitution and all the equal access and one-person, one-vote blather, we can now look to convenience as a standard to measure voting decisions.”
For more context, see the full article here.