Submitted by politicallypurplenc on Wed, 07/24/2013 - 11:49pm
Top 10 Missed Opportunities in the N.C. Omnibus Voter Restrictions Bill
10) Any person with a visible tattoo must vote a provisional ballot, and must subsequently produce
three character witnesses, two of whom must belong to the political party of the governor. 9) Any person accompanied at the polls by a child under the age of six must swear, under penalty
of perjury, that the child is not receiving Medicaid benefits. 8) Unaffiliated voters will not be permitted to serve as precinct judges or staff ... oh, that's already
taken care of. 7) Volunteers or participants in the civic educational program Kids Voting may not be located within
2,000 feet of a polling place. 6) Voters who produce a signed receipt of a $5,000 donation to a candidate in the current election
shall receive one additional ballot per receipt.
Democrats rending their garments over the NCGOP's latest legislative caca del toro -- the Voter Information Verification Act (House Bill 589), the election "reform" bill -- have missed the real story. Fortunately for Republican leaders, so have their own supporters.
Submitted by politicallypurplenc on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 9:54am
With eloquent irony, the Voter Information Verification Act of the N.C. House (H.B. 589) notes in its preamble that it is an act to "restore confidence in government" and "promote the electoral process." It even goes so far as to proclaim the aim of protecting the right of each registered voter by confirming identity "as accurately as possible without restriction."
Oh, yes -- and "to further reform the election laws."
Further reform, indeed. By definition, reform refers to improvement. And it is difficult, if not impossible, to discern improvement in the overall tenor of this bill, but particularly in the N.C. Senate's grab box of restrictions on voter rights. These have just been inserted in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's regrettable 5-4 decision on the federal Voting Rights Act, which just freed this state from the onus of its previous discrimination and the resultant need in 40 of its 100 counties to prove fairness prior to making voting changes.
20 million—amount in dollars of the potential cost of a comprehensive voter ID program in North Carolina. (“The Facts About Voter ID,” Democracy North Carolina, and the Institute of Southern Studies)
16.9 million—amount in dollars that Missouri officials estimated it would cost for outreach efforts about Voter ID laws to avoid voter confusion and make sure legitimate voters aren’t turned away at the polls. (Ibid)
1 million—amount in dollars this year’s final budget allocates for costs associated with the new proposed voter ID law in North Carolina (“Some of this year’s biggest political stories resolved in the state budget,” WRAL-TV, July 21, 2013)
This is one of the more frustrating issues (for me) in the realm of political debate. There are no good reasons to do this, and many good reasons to not do this, but the propagandists on the right have done their job well on this one. Which I tried to explain here:
I have seen much discussion on Facebook and over email concerning the the logistics of being arrested on Moral Monday. That discussion has led me to wonder about ID cards.
The official advice from those managing the events seems to be "carry an ID" if you're going to be arrested. But is it worth considering not carrying IDs? Do we know what would happen if hundreds of people were arrested who could not be identified? Hundreds of John and Jane Does?
We appear to have come to a place in history when honest, law-abiding citizens who want to be heard in the People's House cannot go about their business unless they are able to show their papers. We are at risk of degenerating into a detestable police state, the kind so many conservatives have condemned in other countries.
Funding a new Voter ID law is not as high of a priority for North Carolina voters as saving teacher assistants according to a Public Policy Polling poll commissioned by the Young Democrats of North Carolina.
At a town hall meeting in Lillington Rep. David Lewis, Rep. Mike Stone, and Senator Ron Rabin responded to questions about bills related to early voting and the loss of the child tax credit for parents of college students that vote at school. Each said that they did not support reduced early voting days and locations. Senator Rabin said none of these bills would pass. When asked about the college voter penalty proposal Lewis said it was about preventing students from voting twice. When asked if the bill was worded to take away the tax credit from parents who's child voted twice or parents who's child voted in the town where they were attending college he said that what he was trying to say was that this bill would not pass.
Submitted by Tom Sullivan on Thu, 04/18/2013 - 5:36am
Last fall, voters across North Carolina made their choices at the ballot box. In the next general election we will see whether they still like those they chose.
I recently read a post from state Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover. He explains why he and Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, introduced a bill taking away our choice to vote a straight ticket. Republicans like more choice in theory. Because freedom. But they insist on taking away this choice. Plus a few others.
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