Letters to the Editor

Susan B. Schaffer: Measure suppression

The Nov. 9 news article “ Why did polls favor Hagan?” failed to address one of the most important reasons for lower voter turnout. How does a poll measure vote suppression?

The new provision blocking “out of precinct voting” on Election Day suppressed hundreds of votes in just one precinct in Durham, where I served as a poll watcher. After waiting in line for 45 minutes, voters were told that they could not vote at the precinct where they had voted for years. Some of them went on to vote at their assigned precincts. Many of them had to go on to work and could not afford to wait in line another 45 minutes. Most of the voters turned away were minority voters. Multiply this by the number of precincts in North Carolina, and you have the answer to your question.

I wonder whether the Republican-controlled Board of Elections enforced the new “out of precinct voting restrictions” as stringently in the rural areas as they did in the urban areas. When the new voter ID provisions go into effect in 2016, the voter suppression effect will be even greater.

Susan B. Schaffer