Pulling back the veil, and it ain't pretty:
In emails, state and county Republican officials lobbied members of at least 17 county election boards to keep early-voting sites open for shorter hours on weekends and in evenings – times that usually see disproportionately high turnout by Democratic voters. Reuters obtained the emails through a public records request.
The officials also urged county election boards to open fewer sites for residents to cast ballots during early voting that began on Oct. 20 and ends on Saturday.
And it's looking like the GOP's efforts are bearing fruit, of the rotten and un-democratic type. African-American turnout numbers appear to be down at this point, as compared to 2012. While some may speculate that Obama not being on the ticket has played a part in that lower turnout, GOP shenanigans on the local level are likely a bigger factor:
In contrast with the Republicans' email campaign, the Democratic push to expand early voting hours has largely taken shape in public forums.
In Democratic-leaning Guilford County, the state's third largest, a county board of elections meeting on Aug. 8 attracted about 75 people after word spread that the board was planning to halve the number of early voting sites, from 24 in 2012.
The Rev. Nelson Johnson said in an interview that the proposal by the board's Republican chairwoman would "prevent voting especially by people who can't easily take time off" and said it "absolutely" had a racial intent. Johnson, who is African American, leads a community center in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Guilford's plan also included one restriction that particularly angered Democrats. In the first week of early voting in 2012, residents could vote at 16 sites. This year, that has been reduced to one.
Just 7,916 people voted in the first week of early voting in Guilford this year, compared to 60,732 in 2012, according to state elections board records.
An almost 53,000 drop, in just one county. Making up that number between now and Tuesday seems almost impossible, but it must be done, if we are to have any hope of saving our state from the people who think pulling stunts like this is justifiable.