June 15, 2022– The NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) has opened a public comment period in response to a Request for Declaratory Ruling proposed by the NC Republican Party. The proposed Declaratory Ruling would allow individual members of county boards of elections to verify signatures on absentee ballots. The public comment period closes on July 5, 2022.
The proposal would authorize county boards of elections to scrutinize voter signatures on absentee ballot request forms and absentee ballot return envelopes, to determine whether to count those ballots in North Carolina elections. This could overrule the authority of the NCSBE to require uniform ballot review methods across all counties so that all voters, regardless of residency, have an equal right to have their vote count. In short, disparate voting standards could be implemented for voters across the state, as individual county board members could be allowed to determine whether a voter’s signature on an absentee ballot container envelope or request form matched their signature on file.
A hearing is scheduled for July and then this will make its way through the courts – with the goal of this being implemented in time for the November midterms.
This is urgent – all public comments must be submitted by July 5. We need thousands of North Carolina voters to push back on this proposed change using the NCSBEcomment portal.
North Carolinians are voting in record numbers – they have faith in their elections and in the officials who work so diligently to count our votes. This Request will undermine that faith.
Please voice your personal concerns about the very real prospect that your ballot could be thrown out under a signature-matching protocol.If you changed your name since you registered to vote, if you have developed a medical condition that affects your signature, or if you first registered to vote in our state many years ago, your current signature may look different than your signature on file. Many League members have served as precinct officials and attended Board of Election meetings. Please share your experience when you submit your public comments and tout your confidence in our current election process and in the hard-working people who manage the voting process, review all ballots, and ultimately count North Carolina’s votes.
Once you have submitted your comments, which may take as little as three minutes, please spread the word about this to others! Post to social media, tell your friends and write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in which you urge your neighbors to make their voices heard by using the comment portal.
OUR STATEMENT ON THE OVERTURNING OF ROE V. WADE:
In response to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the LWVNENC, in support of LWV and all women, believes every U. S. resident should have access to affordable, quality health care, including birth control and the privacy to make reproductive choices. Safe access to health care, including abortion, is essential to our democracy. Abortion should be legal, safe, and the choice of pregnant people.
This is a scary time for women. For anyone who experiences pregnancy, our basic freedoms depend on the ability to control our reproductive health. Reproductive choices impact our physical and psychological well-being, including the foods we eat, our financial resources, and our capacity and ability to gain and maintain employment.
Not only is the right to a safe and legal abortion a matter of personal freedom, but it’s also a major factor in the movements for racial and economic equality. Black women and all underserved communities already experience unfair barriers and limited access to adequate healthcare services.
Democracy depends on equal rights for all people. Losing our right to reproductive choice opens the door to the loss of other freedoms like marriage equality, contraception, and the right to engage in private, consensual intimacy. Generations have fought tirelessly to gain and protect the rights we have today. LWVNENC, beside LWV and LWVNC, will continue that fight to ensure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures.