Abysmal turnout for GOP ‘second primary’


By Brooke Medina | John Locke Foundation

Editor’s note – State election officials insist on calling the current vote a Second Primary, which is confusing.
To be clear, this is a ‘Runoff’ for just a few seats, where Republican candidates did not garner at least 30 percent of the March 5 vote in their multiple-candidate races. Traditional precinct voting for the runoff is set for Tuesday, May 14. The total cost per vote for this insanity is thru the roof. In fact, some wags liken idle poll workers to the lonely ‘Maytag Repairman’ – one of the most famous TV commercials of all time.

RALEIGH – Should we have fewer early voting days? Some Republicans in the legislature think so, claiming that it will ensure our elections are as clean and fair as possible. But others are saying this will decrease voter participation, and some even call it “voter suppression.”

But what are the facts? Fewer days of early voting…same number of votes! Research shows that decreasing days for early voting does not depress voter turnout—and some studies have even linked it to increased voter turnout.  And that’s not all.

I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to you, but counties often spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars (and countless hours) maintaining voting sites for weeks. It’s expensive and exhausting. In other words: Reducing early voting days saves a lot of money and time for North Carolinians. So how can we save money and ensure participation?

A steady fact of life is that we can’t make everyone happy. However, there is a fair compromise. One of the complaints about early voting in North Carolina is that most counties don’t allow voting on Sundays (when some data shows many African-Americans vote).

But if we extend voting to just one Sunday during the early voting period, we can increase access for communities across North Carolina. In addition to that, we can reduce the number of early voting days across the state. By pairing these two (pretty common sense) ideas together, we can save money and ensure fair opportunities to vote.