Republican voter suppression tactics

The crushing burden of Voter ID on people of color

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Not everybody lives in the mainstream:

Nearly three dozen states require voters to show identification at the polls. And almost half of those states want photo IDs. But there are millions of eligible voters who don't have them. A 2012 survey estimated that 7 percent of American adults lack a government-issued photo ID.

While some organizations have sued to overturn these laws, a nonprofit organization called Spread The Vote has taken a different tack: It helps people without IDs get them. And people over 50 years of age have presented some of their biggest challenges.

Just a quick personal anecdote: when we had to move my mom into a nursing home, it was right at the beginning of a primary early voting period. When she asked me if I would take her to vote, my brain was pushed into overdrive as I tried to figure out "how" to make it happen. Yes, she could change her voter registration thanks to same-day voting. But her driver's license still had her home (house) address. So I would need to take her to the DMV and get that fixed before doing anything else. When I told her that, she just said, "Forget about it, that's too much." I briefly contemplated just taking her to vote under her old, no-longer-valid registration. But then I remembered pricks like Jay DeLancey and McCrory's goons who challenged voters all over the state, and didn't even mention the idea to my mom. Understand, this is somebody who already had ID and voted regularly. A lot of folks are further behind:

Corporate irresponsibility has led to our voting rights crisis

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Whether it's an "unintended" consequence or not hardly matters:

State legislators across the country who have pushed for new voting restrictions, and also seized on former President Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, have reaped more than $50 million in corporate donations in recent years, according to a new report by Public Citizen, a Washington-based government watchdog group.

Telecom giant AT&T was the most prolific, donating over $800,000 since 2015 to authors of proposed restrictions, cosponsors of such measures, or those who voted in favor of the bills, the report found. Other top donors during the same period include Comcast, Philip Morris, United Health, Walmart, Verizon, General Motors and Pfizer.

The mentality behind these donations is the same problem that put Trump in office for four years: If you will accomplish what I need to be done, I don't care what else you do, however cruel, inhuman, or undemocratic. Republicans (especially those in North Carolina) have cleverly carved themselves a niche, catering to the desires of wealthy business execs (see doctors subjugating nurse practitioners), which gives them the power to wage their ugly culture wars on minorities and the poor, not to mention LGBTQ+ folks. And it's long past time we ignored this factor:

Uncle Joe is pissed about GOP voter suppression efforts

McConnell may have just lost his filibuster barricade:

President Joe Biden on Thursday in his first formal news conference since taking office blasted Republican-controlled state legislatures that are seeking to restrict voting access, labeling those attempts “sick” and “un-American.”

“This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle,” Biden said, referring to laws that enforced racial segregation in the South. “This is gigantic, what they’re trying to do, and it cannot be sustained.” Biden said he would “do everything in my power” to prevent those changes from going into effect.

Strained analogies aside (wouldn't an eagle be more dangerous?), I'm glad to see the President is not only angry about this, but angry for the right reasons. This is not just political maneuvering on the part of Republicans, it is an age-old effort to suppress the rights of African-Americans and other people of color, using disingenuous points of attack. Here's more from a real President:

Democracy on hold: Late Census data puts NC Municipal elections in limbo

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And you can thank the incompetent Trump administration for the delay:

Raleigh, Cary and other North Carolina cities like Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, may have to push back their 2021 local elections and keep current local leaders in office past their original terms. Cities that elect local leaders by district must update those districts after every new U.S. Census.

On Friday the U.S. Census Bureau announced it won’t be releasing district data until Sept. 30, which is after the traditional filing date for candidates to run in this year’s elections.

Just to give you an idea of how bad this is, most municipal redistricting plans are finalized by mid-June. They won't even be able to start the process until a few days before many of them would be holding the actual election. Raleigh held its 2011 municipal election on October 11th of that year, and they scheduled this year's for the 5th. And I have to say, this statement brought a face-palm and an eye-rub:

Blame the Republican Party for what happened yesterday

As usual, Rob Schofield hits several nails on their heads:

The list of important politicians who have known for years that Donald Trump was and is a criminally dangerous liar, race-baiter and traitor, and a malignant threat to American democracy is a long one.

And still, throughout almost all the last four-plus years, each of these individuals has not just stood passively by as Trump has run roughshod over the Constitution and countless core democratic values and norms, but affirmatively and cynically egged him on and/or aggressively defended him.

Before we talk about insurrection, let's scroll back a few days to see what Republican irresponsibility has accomplished. Trump's threatening phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State was actually set in motion almost a year ago, when Senate Republicans refused to punish him for making a threatening phone call to a foreign government leader. In both cases his personal political gain was at the root of his behavior, and both cases featured abuse of the power of his position. Back to the failed coup:

Federal Appeals Court overturns ban on Voter ID in NC

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Using a bad argument to accuse somebody else of using a bad argument:

The 4th Circuit ruling puts aside arguments by civil rights groups that sued over the law. They contended, in part, that the current voter ID rules can’t be carried out because previous courts declared Republicans approved a 2013 voter ID law with intentional racial discrimination in mind.

“The outcome hinges on the answer to a simple question: How much does the past matter?” Circuit Judge Julius Richardson wrote in the opinion, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision. “A legislature’s past acts do not condemn the acts of a later legislature, which we must presume acts in good faith.”

The thing is, that "later legislature" is composed of many of the same bad actors that wrote the 2013 law that was struck down. Phil Berger, David Lewis (who resigned this previous Summer after lying to a bank official), Warren Daniel, and several other lesser ticks that have burrowed into the legislative body. Their goal (vote suppression) has not changed one iota from seven years ago, and they have literally never acted in good faith. Back to the judges:

Voter suppression lawsuit filed after pepper-spraying incident

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson is headed to court:

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson is now a defendant in three lawsuits over the treatment of protesters in downtown Graham and he is not alone. Graham’s new police chief, Kristy Cole, is also a defendant in two of those suits, as is Alamance County. The City of Graham is still fighting at least one.

Allen v. City of Graham was filed Nov. 2 on behalf of three people and a group called Future Alamance at the now notorious police crackdown on the Oct. 31 “I am Change” march in downtown Graham.

Both County and City (Graham) leaders are responsible for this international embarrassment, and they have nobody to blame but themselves. The march was peaceful, the group had permission ahead of time, but officers started tearing down their sound system the very second (they thought) the time had expired. Just itching for a confrontation. And of course camouflage fatigues and machine guns were sported by some of Terry Johnson's little army. All that said, the voter suppression thing is going to be tough to prove:

Trump and BergerMoore whine to Supreme Court about ballot extension

They're just throwing shit against the wall to see what will stick:

President Donald Trump’s campaign and North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to return the state to a shorter deadline for accepting late-arriving absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day.

The legislative leaders argue in their appeal that the longer deadline, which was extended after early voting had begun, will result in unequal treatment of voters and dilute the value of ballots cast before the rule was changed.

What? Seriously, what? Even if those later ballots somehow did "dilute" the value of earlier votes cast, refusing to count the later ballots makes their value absolutely zero. But of course there is no dilution, this is just another "divide and conquer" tactic by Republicans. Trying to pit voters who mailed their ballots in early against those who didn't. Create a conflict where one doesn't exist, and then ask the court to settle that conflict. It's a variation of a strawman logical fallacy, but in this case, the strawman is the victim, not the antagonist. I agree with Josh Stein 100%:

Analysts: Trump can't win without North Carolina

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Which is why we've been "blessed" by so many visits:

President Donald Trump’s frequent visits to North Carolina are a sign: the state and its 15 Electoral College votes are critical to his effort to win reelection. He has made seven appearances here since July 27 — four in September alone.

Biden leads Trump by a slight margin in North Carolina, which Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper called the most-important swing state in deciding the election. “I think there is a path to victory for Biden that doesn’t go down Tobacco Road, but I don’t think the same is true for President Trump,” Cooper said.

While I find it frustrating we still need to worry about Trump winning North Carolina (WTAF, people), it's somewhat comforting to know Biden can still win without us. Just like Obama did in 2012 with 332 Electoral votes. But (once again) it's the suburbs in NC that will determine the outcome:

Today is the last day for voter registration for 2020 Election

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Unless you're planning to one-stop early vote:

Applications received after 5 p.m. Friday will be timely if postmarked on or before Oct. 9. If a postmark is missing or unclear, an application will be processed if it’s received no later than 20 days before the election. Otherwise, the application won’t be processed until after the election.

Faxed or emailed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, and hard copies must be delivered to the Board of Elections by 20 days before the election.

Understand, if you have moved since you last registered to vote, even if you're still in the same voting precinct, your registration is no longer valid and must be updated. You can check your voter registration status right here just to make sure. If you miss today's deadline, you can register and vote the same day at an early voting site. But you will need to provide proof of residence when doing so. Here are some other qualifications to consider:

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