Leading from the Left

Friday, July 27, 2007

Letter to Board of Elections

A couple of days ago, I posted about the recommendation to move Chapel Hill's early voting site from UNC's campus to the new Senior Center. Below is a copy of the letter that I've sent Barry Garner the Director of the Board of Elections. I've also written letters to the editor of the local papers.

If you're so inclined, the Board of Elections needs to hear from you about this topic.

Dear Barry,
I am writing to express my strong support for an on campus early voting site.

I first got involved in local politics more than 20 years ago as an undergraduate at UNC. There is no doubt that voting is the easiest gateway to getting involved in local issues, and I think we need to do everything that we can to empower students to feel more like they’re part of the broader community.

Making voting as easy as it can be for our student population should be a top priority of the Board of Elections. I am very excited about the new same day voter registration bill that has been passed, and I think continuing an on campus precinct is vital to that legislation having its intended effect of increasing voter participation in Orange County.

It’s not just about students though. Since UNC is by far the county’s largest employer, it only makes sense to have a one stop voting site where it is easily accessible for faculty and staff.

I completely understand the potential of there being an issue with parking but in that case folks can go vote early at Carrboro Town Hall, which makes more sense geographically than the Senior Center for a large number of Chapel Hill voters anyway.

I strongly support the UNC Student Union for the Chapel Hill early voting site and hope you will take my comments in strong consideration and pass them onto the Board.

Thank you,

Mike Nelson