Are you interested in opposing the odious bills in North Carolina aimed at preventing people from voting?
We're putting together a coalition of activists and citizen lobbyists to protect voting rights and are seeking phonebankers and citizen lobbyists.
If you live in the Raleigh area and would like to visit key lawmakers to earn their support for voter protection, let me know and we can get started next week.
Even if you don't live in capital area of North Carolina, you can get involved by joining our phone banks. Just zap me an e with your contact information. We'll have phone lists ready later this weekend and are setting up physical sites for phone banks starting Tuesday, April 16.
Nearly 800 bills have been submitted to the N.C. Senate, and nearly 1,000 bills were submitted to the N.C. House of Representatives in the past 11 weeks. Among them are several bills that attack the right to vote.
Ways the GOP wants to suppress voting in North Carolina:
- Slashing the number of early-voting days.
- Disallowing early-voting on the Sunday before Election Day.
- Requiring voters to present a state-issued ID in order to cast a ballot.
- Felons must wait five years after they've served their time, find two people to vouch for their character, apply to the Board of Elections and get unanimous approval of their application.
- Voters can be prohibited from casting a ballot if they're deemed "mentally incompetent." No parameters for designation of mental incompetence are offered.
- Parents who receive a dependent tax credit for a student in college/university will lose their tax credit if their student registers to vote where they attend school.
- Eliminating same-day registration.
We can thank Art Pope for many of these bills. Pope, a Tea Party billionaire, was named deputy budget director by our new Republican governor, Pat McCrory. For the past several years, Pope had been financing the campaigns of several Republican and Republican/Tea Party candidates and ginning up municipal takeovers by Tea Party blocks. Now he's a a state official who wants to determine who can vote and who they can vote for.
First, though, he is intent on determining who cannot and should not vote. And he's got a lot of help in the form of candidates he's funded over the past decade. They owe him, and he's declared payback season in North Carolina.
Some of these voter-suppression bills are prohibited by both the US Constitution and the NC Constitution, and some violate state laws in other ways. But they make the point of intimidating voters and making us think twice about voting by introducing myriad challenges to our ballots, both before and on Election Day. We're faced with the specter of having an official at the polls tell us we cannot vote for one reason or another, and all this after standing in line for hours and hours to cast our ballot on the limited number of voting days. And the GOP and Tea Party would love to disenfranchise entire classes of voters -- including students, African Americans, Latinos, low-income voters, and women.
Who's going to be left to vote? Talk about a blast from the past!
But we can challenge these bills and eradicate their ability to intimidate and cow voters before they're discussed and passed in the N.C. General Assembly.
If you'd like to get on board the Voter Protection Bus here in North Carolina, speak out now. We'd like to be thoroughly organized and in action long before the May 16 crossover date -- the the date by which a bill must pass either the House or the Senate in order to remain eligible for consideration in the remainder of the session. The bills that do not pass one chamber or the other by this date are effectively dead for the session.
We can kill these bills with prompt and organized action. So charge up your phones and get your printers inked up for this fight!