Letters to the Editor, April 1

Mar. 31, 2014 @ 11:44 AM

Ruling on legislative emails welcomed

The League of Women Voters of NC is pleased with last week’s ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake that correspondence and emails between legislators and outside parties must be made public and can be used in the legal case challenging the 2013 voter law. 

Transparency in government is a key principle of our democracy, and legislators should be held to the same rules as other government entities. 

The reason this ruling is so critical is that the league and the other parties challenging the law maintain that the intent of the law that eliminates same-day registration during early voting and reduces the number of days of early voting is to suppress voter participation.  We are particularly concerned about the impact on senior citizens, college students and minorities, groups that used early voting and same-day registration in large numbers. The league’s mission over its history of 94 years is to educate citizens, register voters and promote citizens in exercising their Constitutional right and civic responsibility through voting.  The anticipated impact of the new voter law is a reduction in North Carolinians voting. 

While the league is fighting this legal challenge to the voter law enacted in 2013, we are increasing our efforts to register voters and explain the changes in the law to our citizens.  We welcome volunteers to help us in these efforts!

Brenda Hyde Rogers

Chapel Hill

The writer is president of the League of Women Voters--Orange, Durham, Chatham

Sign that blue slip

That our senator, Richard Burr, would keep the entire U.S. Senate from having hearings on the appointment of Jennifer May-Parker as federal judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina is indicative of what is wrong in Washington. 

Here we have a perfectly qualified candidate for the judiciary, originally approved by Burr, who cannot even get a hearing on the hill because Burr has flipped-flopped and won’t turn in his “blue slip” on her nomination. This senate “courtesy” to fellow senators has long been used to hold up nominations. That one person can hold up the work of the Senate and the judiciary for, in this case, reasons he refuses to explain is ridiculous. 

I call upon Senator Burr to send in that blue slip or publicly explain himself. Our courts need May-Parker. She is very well qualified and a woman. Women are 54 percent of North Carolina’s registered voters. And we want to see more women sitting on the bench.

So, sign that blue slip, senator, or in 2016, women will be sending you a pink one.

Vicki Boyer