North Carolina GOP head Dallas Woodhouse defends early voting restrictions

This segment originally aired Nov. 3, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Democrats are concerned that North Carolina’s Republican leadership is working to suppress black voters and cancel the voter registrations in the state. But in an interview with VICE News, the state’s GOP boss said his state’s system is a fair one.

“We’re going to have solid, reliable results here in North Carolina that we can depend on,” said Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party. “We have a good system. We don’t have a perfect system.”

In an August email, Woodhouse told Republican appointees to local election boards that “Republicans can and should make party line changes to early voting.” He said he was simply reminding appointees that they aren’t obligated to permit early voting on Sundays.

“We have [board members] who do not believe we ought to vote on Sunday,” Woodhouse said. “They think the people ought to be with their families.”

North Carolina has a history of election controversies. In July, a federal appeals court struck down a restrictive voter ID law passed in 2013 by the Republican-controlled statehouse, arguing that it disenfranchised black voters. This week, an NAACP lawsuit alleged that the state had abruptly and unfairly cancelled the registrations of thousands of North Carolina voters.

“We have 17 days of early voting, OK?” Woodhouse said. “Ten years ago we voted on election day, period.”

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