Brunswick Beacon, 03.02.23
Are you the kind of person who says: “I wish the government would tell me what to do, because I don’t like choices?” If so, that’s music to Rep. Frank Iler’s ears. He wants to take away your choices, and make it harder for you to replace him, by making it much harder for you to vote.
Early voting has been around since 1788. America’s first election lasted 26 days. In 2022, 46 states had early voting periods ranging from 3 to 46 days. NC’s 17-day period is already well below the 23-day national average.
Iler cosponsored a bill to change NC’s Constitution and slash your early voting period even more, to just seven consecutive days! Unbelievably, he says: “I have heard from a lot of citizens that early voting is too long." Right. No doubt the same people who miss the worst days of COVID, when they didn’t have to decide which toilet paper to buy because there wasn’t any.
In fact, most of us really like the convenience of early voting, with good reason. We can pick our most convenient day to vote, including Saturday. And, we can cast our ballot at any early voting site in Brunswick County. Early voting reduces Election Day congestion, giving us shorter lines and better poll-worker performance. It allows election officials to correct registration errors and fix voting system glitches earlier. No wonder in-person early voting has become “the most popular way to vote for North Carolinians,” according to Patrick Gannon, at NC’s State Board of Elections.
Incumbents like Iler already have massive advantages that help the majority of them win reelection. Iler’s bill will make it harder for you to vote and even harder for you to replace him. He doesn’t even bother to pretend that it benefits you in any way! It just brings us closer to every incumbent’s dream: a guaranteed lifetime job without accountability.