Open Letter to the Editor: Voting Rights in NC vis-a-vis NY

Charlotte, NC/New York, June 20, 2016—I submitted the following letter to the editor to the New York Times, but it went unpublished. In the interest of balance, politically, let me weigh in on another issue in North Carolina politics, first. Although I wish to be counted against discrimination against LGBT people, I am against the bathroom law passed in the city of Charlotte, NC. On the photo-ID law in NC, however, I fall in on the mainstream, progressive side. My letter to the editor follows:

April 26, 2016

 

     With the ruling Monday by Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of Federal District Court in Winston-Salem, NC, the State of North Carolina fell backward from near the front of the line of the most advanced, progressive States on voting rights in the United States of America to near the end of the line, to one of the most reactionary in the country.

New York State moved up from significantly behind North Carolina on voting rights, for example, to far ahead of it.
North Carolina lost same-day voter registration and reduced the time for early voting, while New York has neither. On the more important policy of requiring a state photo-ID to vote, North Carolina fell far behind New York, which has no such provision. The federal judge upheld that plank of North Carolina’s 2013 law on Monday.
New York State is not without its problems, however. 126,000 Democratic voters were purged from the rolls, reportedly, in the New York State primary election in Brooklyn last Tuesday, according to the New York City Comptroller’s Office, Scott Stringer, as cited in the New York Post (4/25/2016).
Although North Carolina is no pariah with its softened photo-ID law, as compared and contrasted with New York State, with none, still the cause of voting rights in America would be best served by striking down the NC photo-ID provision. The NC law is next up for appeal in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, located in Richmond, Virginia, according to The New York Times (4/26/2016).
Recently, North Carolina has been closely contested in U.S. Presidential elections, falling in line for President Barack Obama in 2008, and for the Republican, Mitt Romney, in 2012.
—Nicholas Patti

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