On the heels of the new Monster Law that excludes state-issued student IDs from the list of acceptable IDs a voter must show after January 2016, some local elections boards are going even further. Tuesday’s LOD described the Watauga County Board of Elections’ decision to eliminate the Early Voting and Election Day polling sites from the campus of Appalachian State University. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the State Board of Elections will review the Watauga County changes after a “slew of complaints” were lodged by unhappy locals.
Also this week, the Pasquotank County election board ruled in favor of county GOP chair Pete Gilbert’s request to prevent Montravias King, an Elizabeth City State University senior, from running for local office on the grounds that his dorm address is not enough to give him “residency.” Never mind that King has been registered and voting in Elizabeth City since he started college four years go, or that he plans to stay there once he graduates. In fact, Gilbert wants to go further – he plans to challenge the residency and voter registrations of other ECSU students and then “take this show on the road” to challenge students elsewhere. As an editorial in today’s Wilmington Star-News notes, the new law’s green light to vigilante challengers in and out of polling places “will encourage an atmosphere of intimidation.”
This is all on top of the “no student IDs allowed” provision in the anti-voting bill and the termination of the pre-registration program for teens. Apparently, our state legislature and some county elections board members view students as second-class citizens. What’s next – increasing the voting age to 35?