This letter was published the morning of the 12:30 pm, Aug. 1st, Board of Elections meeting. Fifteen days of Early Voting were adopted, including one Sunday and two Saturdays in addition to the state mandated weekdays.

After reading the recent letter to the editor on 7/29/23, “Board of Elections on Early Voting,” it seemed prudent for the Two Nanas to clarify some points that float around small towns, creating misinformation.

First, the letter we refer to is from an ordinary citizen, not an opinion letter from the board of elections stating their position on early voting. 

Second, The Two Nanas have been contacting people this year and in previous years, asking them to show up and email the Rowan Board of Elections because we believe in the power of our vote for all voters. If you show up on Aug. 1st at the Board of Elections thinking you will oppose the blue party, you’re going to be disappointed. We’re independent — ask our grandchildren!

The folks that answer the call from the Two Nanas to show up — we’re your Rowan County neighbors and we’re a mixed bag like the rest of Rowan. We’re the folks you see at the grocery story, at church, in the park, at daycare, at exercise. We’re the folks who take our constitutional rights seriously and believe in the rights of citizens to vote. We happen to have the time to show up for our community when others can’t.

We believe in voting rights so much that those of us who are politically active still show up even though we realize that our efforts to provide more voting days for all voters will probably help the candidates we may eventually vote against. Honestly, we have often expected board members to stand up and applaud us rather than act shocked that we’re asking for extra Saturdays and Sundays. Saturdays and Sundays benefit everyone and in this county may benefit one party more than many even realize. So, believe it or not, our presence is really about the voters throughout Rowan County, not a particular party.

For transparency, one of us is unaffiliated, one of us isn’t. We didn’t know everyone that showed up on the 18th and we weren’t checking their voter registration. We just know that nobody spoke to limit the early voting calendar. You could infer that those attending believed in our right to vote and thought that it was important to make voting as accessible as possible for all voters. We had 10 specific reasons extended days were important for 2023 and you can find them if you read the Post 7/16/23 or ask for the minutes from the board of elections 7/18/23. Additional speakers added other reasons that voters in 2023 have different needs for a more flexible calendar of voting than voters in 1953 or 1983. For example, think of how many people you know that now work outside of Rowan County and would find it difficult or impossible to vote on a weekday if they had to drive into Salisbury to vote. 

Has the local blue party supported our efforts? Yes, they have. Accessible voting for all voters is part of what the local blue party advocates. Would we accept the support of the local red party? Happily. Sadly, after reading the letter in the 7/29/23 paper we have learned that the local red party does not support our local Board of Elections members adding any Sundays or additional Saturdays.

We hope that those who attend this Tuesday realize that we’re all neighbors and this gathering of citizens is to advocate for how we vote together as a county. This gathering is not about who we chose to elect. Please note: If we do have a referendum added to the November ballot as reported by the Post, 7/27/23, we will have everyone in the county vote, not just municipalities, and we will be voting at only one location in a huge county.  

We are fortunate to have a board of elections that is managed and run with integrity and professionalism. They are quite capable of handling the 17 consecutive days of voting that the N.C. Legislature allows a local board to adopt. We once again ask that board members add two additional Saturdays and two Sundays to the state mandated early voting plan of Oct. 19 – Nov. 4.

Pam Bloom and Nan Lund, the Two Nanas