House Democrats are seeking changes to state election laws that they say will make voting easier in 2016. House Minority Leader Larry Hall unveiled the two bills at a news conference Tuesday. House Bill 239 would restore the week of early voting that was cut from state law by the Voter Information Verification Act, the Republican election overhaul bill passed in 2013. The proposal would be effective in 2016. Prior to VIVA, state law allowed up to 17 days of early voting, including three weekends. The overhaul reduced that to 10 days, including two weekends.
Republican sponsors of VIVA said the change would make early voting more consistent throughout the state’s 100 counties and save money for county elections boards. They pointed to record-breaking early voting turnout in 2014 as proof the reduction in days had not kept people from the polls.
But Hall, D-Durham, said waits of several hours at many early voting sites almost certainly dissuaded some people from casting ballots. “To get to a voting and polling place and have to stand in line for a period of time longer than their lunch hour,” Hall said, “that is discouraging. That will prevent people from voting. “If that was not the intent, let’s restore this additional time for early voting,” he added.
Full Article: House Dems push for election changes :: WRAL.com.