Asheville, N.C. (April 28, 2020) — On the day of the Buncombe County Board of Elections’ first-ever virtual meeting to discuss 2020 voting options, dozens of activists led by local chapters of Democracy North Carolina, Equality NC and the ACLU of North Carolina, submitted their recommendations to the Board to “ensure access to all voters.”
In a letter emailed to the Board’s director and five members, the activists outlined ways the Board could protect options for the county’s Black, Latinx, student and working voters amid concerns caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
The letter states, “[We] know that you will be making important decisions on how to administer the upcoming election in light of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to secure safe voting options for all, including access for historically-marginalized Buncombe County voters, we put forth the following recommendations to defend and broaden voting options.”
The 26 activists, representing faith communities, student organizations, and pro-voter groups, and others, specifically urged the elections board to retain Early Voting sites serving historically-marginalized communities such as the Dr. Wesley Grant Southside Center and on-campus locations at UNC Asheville, Warren Wilson College, and AB-Tech, and defend weekend options for working voters, including Sunday voting. In addition, they called on the Board to pass a realistic budget that would ensure adequate staffing for a high turnout presidential election, and to make paper ballots available in both Spanish and English.