Viewpoint

A scheme to steal Wake County votes

From an editorial published Sunday in the (Raleigh) News and Observer:

Republicans in the General Assembly have spent more than a year contending that they changed state voting laws to protect the integrity of elections. But if they’re concerned about honest elections, why are they trying to steal votes from the people of Wake County?

There’s no other way to look at the Republicans’ latest electoral gambit. Last Thursday, the state Senate in a party line vote approved a measure that would change the way Wake County elects its county commissioners. Currently, the seven commissioners reside in separate districts but are elected countywide. The Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake) would increase the board to nine members and restrict voting to seven districts with two commissioners being elected from regional districts.

The bottom line is this: Currently, every Wake County voter can vote for all seven members on the Wake County Board of Commissioners. Under the proposed law, all Wake County voters will see their votes shrink from seven to two, one for their district representative and one for a regional representative.

The bill now goes to the House where Rep. Paul Stam (R-Apex) will lead the push for its passage.

This bill targets only one county and doesn’t have the full support of the county delegation. Wake voters should let their state representatives know how they feel about this effort to take their votes away.

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