State Sen. Paul Newton may have tried to talk a good game in the Senate Election Committee saying Senate Bill 326, “The Elections Integrity Act” was nothing more than an effort to “shore up … leakage around the edges of our system.”
But numbers tell the story. The leakage he and his fellow Republicans are concerned about has nothing to do with election integrity but everything to do with helping GOP candidates.
Both nationally, and particularly in North Carolina, voting in the 2020 elections was conducted fairly, openly and with few problems under the most challenging of circumstances. Election turnout – both in total voters and share of eligible voters – was the most ever. Every properly cast ballot was collected and counted accurately.
What happened in 2020 – while based on the state results in particular – should have left Republicans with no complaints. But there obviously was concern that mail-in ballots didn’t tilt far enough toward the GOP.
The mail-in ballot share of all votes cast skyrocketed to 18%. Part pandemic related but also many voters found it a more convenient.