Today (Monday), Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina over the voter suppression bill passed by House Speaker Thom Tillis and the North Carolina General Assembly:
In the North Carolina lawsuit... the government will challenge requirements in state law that eliminate the first seven days of early voting opportunities and eliminate same-day voter registration during the early voting period...
The Justice Department challenge also is aimed at a provision eliminating the counting of certain types of provisional ballots by voters who cast ballots in their home counties but do not vote in the correct precincts.
The Young Democrats of North Carolina already has a petition online in support of the lawsuit. YDNC was part of the coalition that fought for same-day registration over six years ago, and down in North Carolina we've spent the past 3 years fighting Republican efforts to keep young voters away from the ballot box.
There's been a lot of talk about Republicans disenfranchising North Carolina's youth voters over the past week. However, as the President of the Young Democrats of North Carolina, I can tell you Republican contempt for youth voters and youth candidates is nothing new in North Carolina.
I've experienced this contempt personally. When I ran for the Mecklenburg County Commission back in 2006, I was still a student at Davidson College. The Charlotte Observer reported that one of my Republican opponents said "voters will have to weigh Spencer's student status and decide if they want 'someone who is committed to North Mecklenburg for years to come' or someone finishing school whose status is more uncertain." At that point, I had lived in North Mecklenburg longer than that opponent - and I still have.
There are many more instances of youth voter suppression to note - so YDNC's Treasurer Taylor Callicutt summarized them on our blog. His great piece is cross-posted below the fold ...
The Young Democrats of North Carolina (YDNC) will gather in Raleigh on Thursday, June 2 to ask the General Assembly to maintain North Carolina’s investment in public education. The YDNC Legislative Action Day will begin at 8:15 a.m. in Room 422 of the Legislative Office Building. Click Here to Join Us!
YDNC President Sam Spencer sees the event as an opportunity for regular North Carolinians of all ages to speak out and defend the institutions that make North Carolina great:
“False austerity is no excuse for infringing upon the rights guaranteed by the North Carolina Constitution: the 'privilege of education,' 'free elections,' equality, and 'the pursuit of happiness,’” said Spencer. “The Republicans in the North Carolina House and Senate should recognize that North Carolina’s priorities – education and job creation – didn’t change when they took control of the General Assembly.”
On a cold January day almost two years ago, I joined thousands of young Americans on the Capitol grounds as we heard our new President address the fears of our generation; "a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights."
Our generation wasn't taking it sitting down - we voted in record numbers in 2008. During the last presidential election, young Americans were energized, and a solid majority voted for change. We stood up to the tyranny of the word "impossible" and proved wrong everyone who doubted the possibility of an Obama Presidency. We cast votes for equality - equal dignity, equal opportunity, equal rights. We voted for prosperity, and we were not going to lower our sights.
Art Pope is a Director of Americans for Prosperity, and aside from the Koch Brothers, he - in coordination with his family-owned business Variety Wholesalers - is AfP's largest donor. A former Republican State Representative, Pope is very active in North Carolina politics and a major donor to conservative efforts. Facing South is covering the Pope story in earnest:
A Facing South analysis of tax records found that a foundation chaired by Art Pope supplies about 90 percent of the income of leading conservative nonprofits in North Carolina.
Of the five groups we profiled -- Capitol Monitor*, The John W. Pope Civitas Institute, the John Locke Foundation, the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy -- Art Pope also sits on the board of all except one (Capitol Monitor*).
One of those groups, the John Locke Foundation, is working to rewrite North Carolina history.
Some musings from the first early voter in North Carolina (at the very least, in Mecklenburg County). Please excuse the rambling that may have something to do with at third cup of coffee and intermittent TV interviews.
I'm sitting down at the Hal Marshall Annex in Charlotte, North Carolina, looking at three flags - the Star Spangled Banner, the North Carolina Flag, and the Mecklenburg County flag.
I've served the United States and North Carolina as a Presidential Elector, and I serve Mecklenburg County as a member of a citizen's transit board. I serve all three when I vote. Right now, I think I'm the first voter in North Carolina.
This is the first part in a series on the General Assembly races in North Carolina. Some of this information is from our posts on BlueNC, but the information is presented here for a national audience.
North Carolina may have only recently become a blue state on the national level, but on the State level things have been Carolina Blue for a long time. Unlike most states in the south, both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly are blue. In the State House, Democrats hold a 68-52 majority, and in the State Senate Democrats hold a 30-20 majority and the Lt. Governor's deciding vote.
Everything is on the table this year as the NCGOP (and outside groups like Americans for Prosperity) have stepped up their historically weak efforts to take the General Assembly.
If the Republicans win, they will control redistricting, giving them a chance to redraw NC's 8 Democratic Congressional Districts. Even more importantly, they will slash the state budget at a time when North Carolinians need jobs most.
This weekend, Elaine Marshall hit the airwaves in North Carolina with a rejoinder to Richard Burr's hypocritical campaign. As Elaine announced in her diary:
Washington is broken, and we cannot afford to send the same typical politicians like Senator Burr back if we’re going to create jobs and shake up the Senate. That is the message of this television ad – and it will be our in this campaign.
Last night, at the North Carolina Democratic Party's Vance-Aycock Dinner in Asheville, I heard Elaine Marshall tell the simple truth. During Richard Burr's 16 years in Congress, he was "spending money like a drunk on payday."
As you know, Richard Burr voted to add over $4 Trillion to the US debt. That's ridiculous, given the fact that Burr is running on restoring fiscal responsibility. At the dinner, the Marshall Campaign pointed out Burr's "fuzzy math" with "Bank Run Bank Cards" that are going out all over North Carolina!
Help Elaine fight Republican idiocy. MARSHALLBOMB for Elaine Marshall is underway to help Elaine keep fighting. She deserves your help, because we have to beat Burr - and I'm going to keep fighting for Elaine until we reach our goal.