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Archive for January 14th, 2013

Re: Voters with no photo ID

As the debate over a voter ID law begins, the Winston-Salem Journal reports on a state Board of Elections study showing that 9 percent of N.C. voters may not have a North Carolina driver’s license or state-issued photo identification.

That figure is 11 percent in Forsyth County. Give the Journal credit —it probes the numbers:

State officials acknowledge their study is not ironclad. For instance, researchers think at least part of the reason female voters appear in the list more often is because women often change their last names when they get married. That can create a discrepancy between DMV and election records if one or the other didn’t get changed.

That accounts for Lena Gough’s name on the list of Forsyth voters without driver’s licenses: Gough said her driver’s license still has her maiden name of Pendergrass because she hasn’t gotten around to changing it.

“I have not gotten my driver’s license changed over,” she said.

Seems to me those circumstances would further lower the percentage. For what it’s worth, Forsyth Board of Elections Director Rob Coffman says he’s a “fence-sitter” on voter ID because he doesn’t “have any evidence of widespread fraud involving the identification of voters.”

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Gboro breaking even on garbage?

At this week’s meeting, the Greensboro City Council will discuss raising tipping fees at its Burnt Poplar transfer station so the city can break even.

The city is currently losing $1.1 million per year at the transfer station. Raising the tipping fee from $41 per ton to $46.50 would allow the city to recover the full cost of operating the station, while raising the fee to $44 per ton in FY ’13-’14 and $47 per ton in ’14-’15 would delay the break even point, but as the staff memo states “there would be less risk the city would lose significant tonnage to other locations.”

Considering the cost of operating the transfer station —including debt service —council member Nancy Vaughan says it might be worth the risk raising tipping fees sooner rather than later.

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