Politically tinged legislation to cut North Carolina’s early voting period by a week hinges on Democratic worries they’ll lose voters and Republican insistence the shorter time is more efficient. The state House is scheduled to vote on the measure Monday. A tentative vote last week passed by a close margin, meaning a veto by Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue could block the measure.
More than 2.4 million voters — 55 percent of the electorate — cast ballots at one-stop sites in the 2008 general election marked by Barack Obama’s presidential victory. The first Democrat to receive North Carolina’s electoral votes in 32 years was powered in large part by a 300,000-vote advantage over Republican John McCain during early voting.
Democrats also protest that the GOP-proposed change would pare back turnout by black voters.
Fifty-two percent of registered black voters cast ballots in the 2008 general election through early or traditional absentee voting, compared to 40 percent of registered white voters, according to State Board of Elections data. It was also the first general election in which people at early voting sites could register to vote and cast a ballot the same day.