S-326 is a Jim Crow-era voter suppression tactic cloaked with a deceptive frame of “Election Integrity”.
When politicians use the term “election integrity”, it is a way to rationalize their efforts to further suppress voters, particularly Black, brown, and indigenous populations, that use legal and viable voting options such as voting by mail. For example, the deadline to request and submit an absentee ballot worked fine when the majority of voters in years past were White; but after Black and brown North Carolinians voted by mail in 2020, now NC legislative leaders want to change the game to make it harder for everyone to vote.
S-326 will strip funding away from local election administrators, creating financial challenges that will impact already under-resourced communities, specifically Black, brown, and indigenous populations, older adults in residential living facilities, and voters with disabilities. Without statewide funding to offset additional election costs, North Carolina’s 100 counties will have to bear the financial burden alone. This means voter assistance programs such as Multipartisan Assistance Teams (MAT)⸺ which helps older adults in congregate living facilities submit their absentee ballot securely⸺ will be stripped of the vital funding that makes these programs accessible.