Republican voter suppression tactics

Dear NCDP: Win the suburbs, win the state

Because that is where 2018's biggest battles will be fought:

In Illinois primary elections on Tuesday, the five counties that wrap around Chicago's Cook County saw Democrats cast almost five times as many ballots as they did four years ago, ahead of a midterm romp for the GOP. Republicans, meanwhile, saw their turnout drop by almost a quarter of what it was in 2014.

The national Republican money machine is focusing heavily on defending the suburbs. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan, has opened field offices in 30 Republican-held districts, with plans eventually to spend more than $100 million in as many as three dozen.

If you look at the graph above, you will see Republicans took 64% of the suburban vote in North Carolina in 2016. They actually did better in the suburbs than rural areas, which should freak you out more than a little, frankly. Why? Because suburban voters have a (much) higher percentage of college graduates than their rural counterparts. And yet, they voted for a card-carrying idiot for President. We're seeing a big shift in suburban voting nationwide during these special elections, but we can't assume that will happen here, in the absence of a huge effort by Dems to retake *our* suburbs. The thing to keep in mind, and I don't want to come off as too elitist here: The higher education level of the suburbs also means having information presented to them in a tactful manner may generate more (and better) results than those efforts would elsewhere. They have the background to make the right decisions, but they need a little push to do so.

Trial over Judicial Primary cancellation will begin in June

Which ironically is just 11 days before the postponed Judicial filing period begins:

A trial over the legality of a North Carolina law canceling primary elections this year for state appellate court judgeships is scheduled for late spring.

During a hearing Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Peake set a June 7 trial date and other filing and evidence deadlines.

Nine days ago I penned an Op-Ed for submission to a regional newspaper, but recent (unfortunate) developments at that publication have made that submission moot. But these words need to be published, and I encourage you to take an extra few minutes to consider the following:

Candidate filing begins today for 2018 (Mid-Term) Election

And you don't have to be a crotchety old man to ride the Blue Wave:

State Senator
At least 25 years of age by the date of the general election
Residence in state for two years prior to election
Residence in district for one year immediately prior to general election1
Registered to vote in the district and eligible to vote for the office

State House Representative
At least 21 years of age by the date of the general election
Residence in district for one year immediately prior to general election2
Registered to vote in the district and eligible to vote for the office

If I'm reading those footnotes correctly, the one year residency requirement is waived if your District is one that was "fixed" (which map, I don't know), but you still need to have set up a residency by the end of the filing period (Feb 28). Here are some other requirements for candidates, and those of you who have announced early need to pay close attention:

Civil Rights Commission convenes exactly where it should

Raleigh is ground zero for unconstitutional voter suppression tactics:

Some people say it was fitting for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to take testimony about the state of voting across the country in the capital city of a state that has been the target of many recent lawsuits in which voters have accused lawmakers of disenfranchising them.

In North Carolina, many of the speakers noted, lawmakers have been accused of drawing election districts to weaken the influence of African-American voters and creating new election laws that with near “surgical precision” were targeted to limit black voters’ access to the ballot.

Unfortunately, regardless of the findings produced by this Committee, those reports will be submitted to a (Federal) Legislative and Executive Branch, neither of which has shown any interest lately on preserving Civil Rights, whether in the form of voting or anything else. And their decision to listen to the twisted ramblings of Hans von Spakovsky is not a good sign, either:

The nuts and bolts of GOP Judicial redistricting

Hat-tip to Melissa Boughton for parsing the maps:

There are 64 current district court judges double-bunked in nine judicial districts encompassing 15 counties in the “Option A” proposal. That’s 24 percent of all district court judges. “Double-bunking” for the purposes of this article means that there are a smaller number of seats in a judicial district than there are current sitting judges. That means incumbent judges in those areas would either be forced to run against another incumbent in an election or face losing their seat if their term expires after the seats are filled.

Of the 64 district court judges who are double-bunked, 47 are registered Democrats and 17 are registered Republicans. There are one percent fewer district court judges double-bunked in “Option A” than the last HB717 map Burr introduced in November. There are also fewer Black or African-American judges double-bunked in this map, but the number is still high considering representation is already an issue on the bench. There are 32 percent of Black or African American judges double-bunked in “Option A,” compared to 43 percent in the last map from Burr.

As you can see from that second paragraph, Justin Burr was well aware he was flirting heavily with a lawsuit that would likely result in his twisted maps being thrown out. So he toned it down a little. But the partisan and racist volume of this effort is still deafeningly loud. But it isn't just double-bunking these judges have to worry about; if the timing is right, they won't even be able to run for a seat:

GOP lawyers will appeal Special Master maps to U.S. Supreme Court

Which comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody:

The GOP lawmakers’ lawyers filed Sunday a motion asking the federal judges stay their order accepting new boundary lines from a special master while legislators appeal that order to the U.S. Supreme Court. They want a decision by Monday because they plan to request a similar delay before the Supreme Court if the judges deny it.

The judges ruled Friday that lines the General Assembly approved last summer still contained unconstitutional boundaries. The GOP lawyers say altering districts would create confusion weeks before candidate filing, adding judges used a “fundamentally flawed” test to determine whether illegal racial gerrymandering remained.

Bolding mine, because this is the height of arrogance. Republicans are basically saying, "Please delay your ruling, because you're all idiots." Like all bullies, they just can't keep from insulting people they're dealing with. It becomes second nature, and like Donald Trump, it is spawned out of a massive ego and overly-inflated sense of self-worth. The only cure for that is a Blue Wave.

Court orders Special Master's maps be used for 2018 Legislative races

This is a different case than what the US Supreme Court just ruled on. Sorry for the confusion (if you were confused, that is), and I will add "Congressional" to the title of the earlier story.

Court rejects NC Republicans' request for "Stay" on gerrymandering order

Because doing what's right is never a burden:

Judges James A. Wynn, William L. Osteen and W. Earl Britt of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled that the lawmakers had failed to meet the “heavy burden” required to stay the order.

They found that the lawmakers' "motion does not dispute this court’s unanimous conclusions that” the map had resulted in partisan gerrymandering, and ordering that it be redrawn. The judges also found that staying the ruling would not injure the lawmakers, but “would substantially injure — indeed irreparably harm — Plaintiffs.”

In any sane world, Republicans would be seriously re-evaluating their affinity and reliance on bent redistricting to buttress their power. But instead, they're gearing up to bring their funky map-making skills to the Judicial Branch. They honestly have no shame.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Republican voter suppression tactics