Republican voter suppression tactics

Voting alert: Counties want to cut budgets for election boards

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When they should be contemplating increases:

Officials in multiple counties have told their local elections officials to find ways to reduce spending for the upcoming budget cycle, which begins July 1. Such cuts could impact preparations for the 2020 general election, as well as increased precautionary measures to ensure voters' safety at the polls.

State Board of Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell said several local boards have already noted that they expect at least some budget reductions as county commissioners finalize budgets in the coming weeks. That includes Chowan County, whose elections officials were asked to make a 10 percent cut.

Not just no, but hell no. Find those cuts somewhere else, because our democracy is already on a fricking ventilator right now. We actually need to expand early voting sites to keep people from having to travel across the county and lining up, and unpaid volunteers (especially elderly) are going to be even harder to find than usual. And we can't make the mistake of assuming General Assembly Republicans will do the right thing:

Candidate filing for 2020 Election begins today

Except for NC's Congressional races, that is:

Political year 2020 gets underway in North Carolina today, as the filing period opens for candidates seeking most local, state and federal offices.

From noon today until noon Dec. 20, those wanting to appear on the ballot in 2020 can file with their local board of elections office or the state board in Raleigh, depending on which seat they are seeking. It’s this filing, rather than any announcements at party events or in the news media, that determines who shows up on next year’s ballot.

Now is the time for County Party officers (with help from Precinct folks) to focus on races that fall into their jurisdiction, with an eye towards making sure there is a viable candidate for each one. "Viable" might seem like a heavy-handed word, and it's as good a time as any to remind elected officers not to endorse in a Democratic Primary. But occasionally somebody will file who has neither the mental capacity nor the temperament and/or character to run a competitive campaign. That's what Primaries are for. There are well over 200 races in the upcoming Primary/General, including 170 General Assembly seats:

Filing begins for 2020 Legislative races in two weeks

Last year Democrats broke the GOP's supermajority in both houses of the General Assembly, and Democrats also fielded candidates in all 170 contests. How much the latter contributed to the former might be a subject for debate, but we would be foolish to write it off as a coincidence. Having a full slate of candidates changed the dynamic, and it also served to provide every Democrat in the state with General Assembly candidates to vote for. It was a monumental task, to be sure, but we can do it again. Follow this link to a WRAL story of the new Legislative districts, where you will find interactive maps for both the House and the Senate. p.s. I would recommend an "outside in" approach to candidate recruitment, putting effort into finding good candidates in the hard-to-find, mostly rural districts first.

GOP uses a Lottery machine(?!) to choose district maps

And once again the circus comes to town:

The North Carolina Senate used a state lottery machine Tuesday to pick base maps to work off of for its court-ordered redistricting. The unprecedented scene came after legislative staffers winnowed down a pack of 1,000 potential maps, drawn by a computer algorithm, to a handful of top contenders based on specific criteria.

Legislative staff spent much the day pulling the five maps that scored the best on a combination of compactness, fewest precincts split and fewest municipal boundaries split for each of seven clusters of counties that must be re-drawn, including one that includes the Senate district in Wake and Franklin counties.

Before they go any further with this dubious approach, somebody needs to confer with the judges about not only this Lottery thing, but also the use of the 1,000 generated maps they're using as a base "pool" or whatever. They might also want to mention to said judges House Republicans are going behind closed doors to scheme:

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