Opinion

Group sparks more voter confusion

With all the confusion around controversial new N.C. voting laws – laws being challenged in court that could be stayed before the November election – voters didn’t need a partisan group mucking up things even more. But that’s what has happened.

According to the N.C. Board of Elections, Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative group, has created quite a headache by sending out incorrect voter registration information, including what was dubbed an “official” voter registration form. But the form was fraught with errors and conflicting information, including the deadline to register, whom to send voter registration information to, and who answers queries about voter information.

The State Board of Elections says it has received hundreds of complaints from people receiving the forms. “It’s caused a lot of confusion,” said Joshua Lawson, a public information officer for the board. He noted that the board of elections works with political groups to prevent just this kind of misinformation, but Americans for Prosperity didn’t contact the board about the mailings.

Such misinformation about voter registration can be a felony if intentionally misleading and proven to suppress voters. We hope that’s not the case here. Some observers think it was just a mistake – though an egregious one.

Officials at Americans for Prosperity, with a state chapter in Raleigh and supported by the Pope Foundation, aren’t saying much about how this transpired. But an apology would be nice.

Voters beware. If you do get such information in the mail from someone other than the board of elections, verify the information by going on the elections board website at www.ncsbe.gov. You can find voter registration forms there.

Too many journalists? Oh, come on, Gov. Pat

We get it. Gov. Pat McCrory doesn’t like us journalists. He said as much Thursday while on a tour of businesses across the state as he highlighted a shortage of workers in technical fields such as information technology and those who work on big trucks.

“We’ve frankly got enough psychologists and sociologists and political science majors and journalists. With all due respect to journalism, we’ve got enough. We have way too many,” he told a Greensboro group who laughed at the remarks.

Gov. Pat might not be up on the news about the news industry. But ours is not a field that is flush with people. Digital and other changes, as well as the economic downturn, have significantly reduced the ranks of journalists.

But “too many” is relative – especially when you’re under the media’s scrutinizing eye a lot. We journalists do pay a lot of attention to what the good gov and his administration are up to – which may be part of his lament.

Even so, we’re still awaiting his complaints about too many journalists showing up to cover press conferences touting his achievements and goals.

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