Well, you have to give him this: Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, didn’t try to be clever or subtle when he sent an email to GOP members of county boards of elections and other party members last weekend. No, he basically instructed those board members to use their majorities to curb early voting, keep polling sites closed on Sundays, close college campus voting sites and in general, to, as he put it, “make party line changes to early voting.”
Republican leaders believe college students and African-Americans who favor early voting or Sunday voting are liable to vote Democratic. In the spirit of the voter ID or voter suppression law passed by Republicans in the General Assembly, they’d like to do what they can to limit voting even in the wake of a federal court ruling that threw out the state’s voter ID law.
Woodhouse couches his orders to county elections officials in the terms of guarding against voter fraud. Although that’s a virtually non-existent problem in North Carolina, Republicans use the threat of it as an excuse to tamp down as many Democratic votes as possible.
Why call this a “gaffe”? He didn’t misspeak. He said exactly what he meant.