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News Thursday, Aug 6 2015

And North Carolina's Top Voting Suppressor is…

Aug 06, 2015

Congratulations to Governor Pat McCrory! The votes aren’t in (damn those long lines) but we’re naming McCrory as the top voting suppressor in North Carolina!

The governor has been working for the last few years towards this achievement, shrinking North Carolinians’ voting rights dramatically. With the assistance of the Koch brothers and Art Pope, Governor Pat McCrory has successfully signed strict new laws that shorten voting periods and add voter requirements.

In 2013, North Carolina shortened the early voting period by a full week from 17 days to 10. The move inconvenienced voters, causing longer lines and waiting periods. McCrory dismissed his critics — he was on the path to the top! — telling MSNBC, “We didn’t shorten early voting, we compacted the calendar… It’s just the schedule has changed.”

On the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, right-wing special interests across the state are so proud, Governor McCrory. You’ve effectively disenfranchised so many!


Signed Voter Suppression Bill

Signed Legislation

McCrory Signed Legislation Mandating Voter ID And Other Voting Restrictions. According to the News & Observer, “Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday signed into law a bill requiring voters to produce a photo ID when they go to the polls, a measure that was hailed by Republicans as a means for heightening ballot security but which was criticized by Democrats as a thinly disguised effort at voter suppression. The measure signed by McCrory also reduces the early voting period by a week, ends early voting on Sunday, ends same-day voter registration, and does away with pre-registration of 16 and 17-year olds. ‘North Carolinians overwhelmingly support a common sense law that requires voters to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot,’ McCrory said in a statement. ‘I am proud to sign this legislation into law. Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.’” [News & Observer, 8/12/13]

McCrory Called Voter ID “A Common-Sense Practice.” According to WRAL, “Asked what he would say to people, like House Democrats, who say that requiring photo identification at the polls infringes on people’s rights to vote, McCrory said he disagreed. ‘I think voter ID is what you need to get Sudafed in the stores right now. It’s what you need to get on the plane. It’s what you need to get many government services at this point in time,’ McCrory said, adding that he believed the bill lawmakers are developing will have safeguards for those without an ID. ‘I think requiring an ID to vote is a common-sense practice that over 80 percent of the people of North Carolina agree with,’ McCrory said.” [WRAL, 3/5/13]

Obfuscated Law

McCrory Released A Video Explaining Why He Signed The Bill. According to the Charlotte Observer, “In an unusual move, McCrory released a brief video statement after he quietly signed the bill in his Capitol office. ‘Let me be direct,’ he said. ‘Many of those from the extreme left who have been criticizing photo ID have been using scare tactics. They’re more interested in divisive politics than ensuring that no one’s vote is disenfranchised by a fraudulent ballot.’” [Charlotte Observer, 8/12/13]

McCrory Did Not Mention The Law’s Provisions Aside From Voter ID, Including Limiting Disclosure of Outside Campaign Spending, Raising Contribution Limits, Ending Public Financing Of Judicial Races And Repealing The “Stand By Your Ad” Law. According to the Charlotte Observer, “In his video statement, McCrory only spoke about the law’s voter ID provision. He did not mention other changes. Among other things, the bill: • Limits disclosure of outside campaign spending. • Raises contribution limits from $4,000 to $5,000 and, for the first time, indexes them to inflation. • Ends public financing of judicial races. • Repeals the “stand by your ad” law that forces candidates or parties to identify themselves on the air as sponsors of an ad.” [Charlotte Observer, 8/12/13]

WRAL: “McCrory Repeated One Incorrect Turn Of Phrase At Least Three Times.” According to WRAL, “Gov. Pat McCrory took to the radio waves today to lay out why he signed a far reaching elections bill that will impose a photo ID for in-person voting starting in 2016. Leaving politics aside, McCrory repeated one incorrect turn of phrase at least three times, speaking on WUNC’s The State of Things, NPR’s Here and Now, and in an interview with WWNC.” [WRAL, 8/13/13]

McCrory Repeatedly Conflated Polling “Precincts” With Early Voting “Locations.” According to WRAL, “‘We have every political precinct open the week before election,’ McCrory told WUNC’s Frank Stasio. On ‘Here and Now,’ McCrory said, ‘We have two weeks of early voting and we changed some of the rules where every precinct has to be open, where politics are not being played out by either political party on having certain precincts open in certain areas to deny people the proper access.’ No, 10 days isn’t quite two weeks. But McCrory’s larger error is conflating polling ‘precincts’ with early voting ‘locations.’ Precincts are small units of geography that make up the districts from which city council members, county commissioners, lawmakers and the like are elected. On Election Day, voters go to the polling location for their individual precinct to vote. In Wake County, for example, there are 198 precincts, each of which has a different polling site on Election Day.” [WRAL, 8/13/13]
David Weigel Op-Ed HEADLNE: “North Carolina Voter ID Law Is So Great That The Governor Has To Mislead About What’s In It.”
 In an op-ed, David Weigel wrote, “North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed the state’s ‘omnibus’ voter ID bill, as he’s been saying he would. The signature isn’t a surprise. What’s surprising is his decision to explain the new law with a 90-second video, describing the ‘commonsense reforms’ and how ‘the left’ lied about them. The careful viewer will notice a few things missing from this video. The governor says that the bill ‘includes’ voter ID — which it does! That’s a bit like saying a bottle that’s half Advil and half Castor Oil softgels ‘includes Advil.’ As Jim Morrill points out, McCrory doesn’t mention the ‘stand by your ad’ provision that requires ad-buyers to disclose themselves (‘I approve this message,’ and so forth), kills public financing of judicial elections, and ends early voting on Sundays, which since inception have been disproportionately used by black Democrats.” [Slate, 8/12/13]


The Bill Required Voters To Present Photo ID At The Polls. According to the Huffington Post, “North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a bill Mondayrequiring photo identification at the polls and eliminating a slew of voting measures designed to protect against voter disenfranchisement. The governor, eschewing a more traditional signing ceremony, announced by way of a YouTube video that he had signed House Bill 589.” [Huffington Post, 8/12/13]

The Elections Law Bill Barred The Practice Of Voting With A Provisional Ballot If The Voter Went To The Wrong Precinct. According to the Charlotte Observer, “For a decade, registered North Carolina voters who didn’t go to their home precincts on Election Day – by error or on purpose – could still ensure their top choices would count. They’d fill out a conditional ballot from the incorrect precinct. If officials confirmed soon after that they were legally able to vote in the county, their votes for elections not specific to their home precincts would be tabulated. But Republicans in the legislature say people should be responsible for knowing where they’re supposed to vote, rather than forcing election workers to cross-check their ballots and figure out their lawful choices. So they inserted in their elections overhaul bill passed last month a new law barring those out-of-precinct ballots – usually thousands combined annually in primary and general elections – from being counted at all.” [Charlotte Observer, 8/18/13]

The Law Reduced The Number Of Early Voting Days From 17 Days To 10. According to the Charlotte Observer, “The new law still provides citizens 10 days of early voting – down from the current 17 – at county election centers where voters are sure to receive their correct ballot. Rucho said the process of election officials wading through out-of-precinct ballots can delay the final outcome of races.” [Charlotte Observer, 8/18/13]

The Law Eliminated Same-Day Registration And Pre-Registration For 16 And 17 Year Olds. According to the Washington Post, “The measure requires voters to present government-issued photo identification at the polls and shortens the early voting period from 17 to 10 days. It will also end pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-old voters who will be 18 on Election Day and eliminates same-day voter registration.” [Washington Post, 8/12/13]

The Bill Prohibited Paid Voter Registration Drives, Eliminated Straight-Ticket Voting And Made It Easier To Challenge A Voter’s Eligibility.According to the Washington Post, “Other provisions in the new North Carolina law would prohibit paid voter registration drives, end straight-ticket voting (in which a voter can vote for all candidates of one party by voting just once — another area in which Democrats benefit) and loosening restrictions on poll watchers who can challenge a voter’s eligibility.” [Washington Post, 8/12/13]

Published: Aug 6, 2015

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