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Excerpts from Democracy NC's 2016 Election report

Hat-tip to NC Policy Watch for bringing this to our attention:

Hurricane Matthew, hit the eastern part of the state on October 8 and 9 – just a few days before the regular voter registration deadline of October 14. Hurricane Matthew caused over a billion dollars of damage and led to devastating flooding across eastern and coastal North Carolina – an area of the state with large numbers of African-American and low-income voters. By order of a Wake County Superior Court judge, the voter registration deadline was extended by five days to October 19 in the 36 counties that had sustained enough damage to qualify for federal emergency assistance. The SBOE also sent a postcard to over 22,000 voters in the area who had requested mail-in absentee ballots, in hopes of rectifying cases where voters had not received their ballots or had lost them in the flooding, and coordinated with shelters and the postal service to pick up ballots from voters in time.

While the extension and other outreach efforts by the SBOE were helpful, the severe disruption caused by Hurricane Matthew was difficult to mitigate. Many eastern North Carolina voters remained displaced well through Election Day, and a handful of early voting locations and polling places across the impacted region had to be changed as a result of flooding and hurricane damage.

Some of those areas still haven't recovered, some 15 months later. Among many other problems, the effect on voter turnout was devastating. And so was the unnecessary confusion over out-of-precinct voting:

Thursday News: Go back to Kansas, Toto

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TRUMP DISBANDS KRIS KOBACH'S "VOTER FRAUD" COMMISSION AFTER PUSHBACK FROM STATES: President Donald Trump has dissolved a commission intended to investigate voter fraud after a massive data request by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach led to a backlash from state officials across the political spectrum. The White House announced the dissolution of the panel late Wednesday, citing resistance from states about complying with the commission. Kobach, the commission’s vice chairman, had sought personal information on every voter in the nation in June, a massive data request that spurred multiple lawsuits and backlash from state officials from across the political spectrum. Many states had refused to comply with the request, citing privacy concerns, and even Kansas could not legally provide the commission with partial Social Security numbers as Kobach requested.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article192864959.html

Freedom + fairness: Abortion rights

Freedom + fairness: Abortion rights

I had a great conversation today with an extremely knowledgeable advocate about many different aspects of reproductive health. She thinks that "safety" is a key element in the discussion, something that hasn't been front and center for me. Her evidence is that many people who disapprove of abortion still want it to be legal ... and safe.

I get that, and I'm sure there are lots of people who feel that way. But the question I didn't get to ask is this: Will people who disapprove of abortion ever vote for a Democrat?

And they shall be ruled by a Conspiracy Theorist

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This man is not fit to be President of a homeowner's association:

President Donald Trump accused the Justice Department Tuesday of being part of the “deep state” and urged prosecution against a top aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey. Trump’s latest tweets pressed familiar arguments for the president, who is set to begin his first full year in office with the victory of tax legislation but the Russia investigation still hanging over his administration.

“Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents,” Trump tweeted in an apparent reference to a report by the conservative Daily Caller. “Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others,” he added.

This "Deep State" thing has, for several years, been the clarion call of some of the most dangerous right-wing extremist groups. What Trump doesn't understand (because he's an idiot) is the true nature of the meme: The bureaucracy is a product of the Executive Branch, so Trump is really complaining about his own inability to control what he's supposed to be in charge of. It's a false meme of course, because the vast majority of Federal government employees operate under Constitutional Statutory guidance, but the ignorant love to create monsters out of thin air. Now we're going to switch to an article that explores some of the challenges Democratic Congressional candidates will likely face in the run up to November:

Wednesday News: Attacking the Constitution

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REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN NC TAKE AIM AT DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED JUDGES: In separate interviews broadcast last week on Spectrum News’ “Capital Tonight,” Republican legislative leaders Berger and Moore said they could take action on constitutional amendments, GenX river contamination, Gov. Roy Cooper’s appointments to state boards, possible budget tweaks and judicial redistricting proposals. Polling from the conservative Civitas Institute in October found that 66 percent of people polled oppose a constitutional amendment that would end judicial elections and instead allow for judges to be appointed by government officials. Only 25 percent supported such an amendment. Moore told Spectrum that he doesn’t think merit selection has enough support yet to get the three-fifths majority vote required to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot, but he said he’d support a system in which the legislature appoints judges – “if the process is set up the right way, with input from the local communities. ... It works in Virginia, it works in South Carolina.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article19...

Tuesday News: Grifter-In-Chief

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FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS HELP TRUMP'S BUSINESSES ABROAD SUCCEED: In Indonesia, a local government plans to build a road to shorten the drive between the main airport on the island of Bali and the new high-end Trump resort and golf course. In Panama, the country’s federal government intervened to ensure a sewer system around a 70-story Trump skyscraper shaped like a sail in Panama City would be completed. And in other countries, governments have donated public land, approved permits and eased environmental regulations for Trump-branded developments, creating a slew of potential conflicts as foreign leaders make investments that can be seen as gifts or attempts to gain access to the American president through his sprawling business empire. “If you have a foreign government providing a benefit to the Trump company that is going to violate emoluments clause of the Constitution,” said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/article192131674.html

Urban vs. Rural. The Divide Is Real.

Urban vs. Rural. The divide is real.

The Wall Street Journal published an article last week titled, The Divide Between America's Prosperous Cities and Struggling Small Towns---in 20 Charts. And it's well worth a look from North Carolina law makers.

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