The Scotland County Democratic Women was asked on Friday to support an effort to allow early voting on Sundays ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
That is because election officials here have already looked at the issue and said no.
It is hoped that a push by a group like the Democratic Women might get the county Elections Board to revisit the matter.
The state Board of Elections earlier this year gave its blessing to allow counties if they wish to use two Sundays for early voting. Several of our neighbors — Robeson, Richmond, and Hoke counties — have decided to give voters the additional day.
Proponents of Sunday voting say the practice gives citizens one more chance to vote and what could be wrong with that? The answer to that question may depend on your political affiliation.
Some Democrats see Sunday voting as a way of getting core constituents like black churches to the polls en masse. The President and Democrats were certainly helped by early voting in 2008. During that presidential election, 48 percent of all Democrats cast early votes, while only 40 percent of Republican voters did the same. The racial break-down is even starker. According to the state Board of Elections, 52 percent of blacks in North Carolina voted early while 40 percent of whites in the state voted ahead of the general election in 2008.
A lot of Republicans are against adding Sunday voting saying such a move increases the chance of voter fraud and the workload on poll workers.
Some have also argued on religious grounds that Sundays should be free of political pursuits.
The argument against instituting Sunday voting here in Scotland County seems to have more to do with money. Adding more voting days can be costly especially for a county like ours that is dealing with severe budget restraints. And the return on the investment has been small. The Scotland County Board of Elections opened the polls for an additional Saturday during the 2008 election and only attracted a handful of voters.
The real concerns should be voting in general and perhaps not Sundays in particular. Not enough voters are using the time already allotted to vote.
Scotland County voters have 12 and half days to cast a ballot ahead of the general election. They have nearly two months to vote by mail. It will be interesting to see how many people actually take advantage of those opportunities before we add one more day to be apathetic.