Garner: Opinion

Editorial: Pay attention to voting laws

Voting laws changed dramatically in the last session of the N.C. General Assembly. Those who want to vote need to beware of those changes.

Not only have early voting hours and locations been significantly curtailed, so, too, have the opportunities for voters to, for whatever reason, show up at the wrong place and still be allowed to vote.

Prior to the most recent changes in the law, election rules seemed to favor letting people vote even if it meant handling their ballot in a different way. The new rules are meant to cut down on voting fraud, and certainly no one wants that.

They also seem certain to be confusing to voters who aren’t aware of all the changes and how they might be personally affected. It will mean some people’s votes won’t be counted, while, for others, the changes mean they simply will not be allowed to vote.

That will raise temperatures and cries of voter discrimination.

But the best way to avoid that kind of face off is to take note of the changes and be sure to follow the new rules.

This newspaper and others have published news stories outlining some of the major changes, but voters can always call their local Board of Elections office and look into their own voting requirements and erase the need for any kind of confrontation at the polls on election day.

Voters will soon be going to those polls to vote in May primaries. It won’t be long after that, when voters will cast ballots for the people who will ultimately represent them in public office at the local, state and federal level.

Act now to avoid confusion and mistakes. Learn how the laws affect you. Then act accordingly.