Early Voting

Early voting began last week on Thursday.

Voting is a sacred privilege in any nation that offers it, which has become less secure in the U.S. since the undermining of the election process.

It wasn’t until I received a press release from the State Board of Elections notifying us that early voting would begin Thursday of last week the gravity of the situation. The municipal elections are not until Nov. 2, which I have been in the process of rounding up candidates in the area to contribute to articles on why they are running. So far, I have only been able to do election articles on the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District and Roanoke Rapids Graded School District, which both warrant being spotlighted with the increased number of candidates running for the sanitary district and what the school district has been through regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, One-Stop Early Voting voting sites are open at the Agriculture Building in Halifax County and the Northampton County Board of Elections office. As of Tuesday, the Halifax County Board of Elections reported a total of 45 voters were received, which most were from the Roanoke Rapids and Weldon area. Northampton County Board of Elections reported they had received voters from other municipalities, but the only jurisdiction eligible for early voting is the sanitary district, which includes the Town of Gaston.

I think it’s easy to theorize why there is an early voting process. Perhaps people don’t have time, already know who they are going to vote for or just want to vote because it is their “right.” Honestly, voting is a privilege and not a right solely because it is granted to those who live within the jurisdiction of that community. A right is inherent that can’t be taken away, such as inherent human freedoms like speech, religion, and yes, the right to bear arms. I know someone reading this is saying, “You can have weapons taken away.” Of course, but what type of weapons? Every human has a method for protection outside of the Constitution which states that an armed militia of the people is necessary to the security of a free state.

Going back to the privilege of voting, the early voting concept seems to be more of a method to entice getting the vote out of the way as soon as possible rather than waiting for a traditional date. What if there was something newsworthy about a candidate soon after your early vote is cast? There is no way possible way that I can see to change your vote. It seems to dampen the purity of this privilege.

Then there is the no photo ID requirement, which is very bizarre not to have to vote, being that a community would want to make sure that a person is who they say they are and they live within its jurisdiction. What’s troublesome is that the mainstream media and department press releases push rhetoric that the recent election was the “most secured” in election history. Did I just not reference the second amendment being a necessity for the security of a free state? What does that tell you about not requiring photo IDs?

The issues with early voting and the no photo ID requirement restrict the traditional practice that requires a citizen to remain steadfast and wise until the election date. But then again, I’m sure there are more issues with the security of elections that go under the nose of officials — or perhaps they do know. I mean, why else would I notice there was a large number of vehicles with Arizona tags parked at the Food Lion on the Avenue on the night of the 2020 presidential election on Nov. 3? Maybe it was nothing and they were passing through North Carolina to Georgia to visit family, but it’s always a good habit to note the unusual and out of place.

Either way, it goes to show that when we cut corners in our tradition to vote, it causes more problems and speculation that lessens the integrity of our elections.