A Republican who thinks North Carolina Republicans are making a big mistake.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was the keynote speaker at the CEO Forum in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday evening. After introductory remarks, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory left the stage to listen to the retired general from the audience. Last month, McCrory signed into law new voter restrictions that will make it harder for the poor, disabled, student and minority voters to cast ballots. He did not address the law in his remarks. Powell said
"I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote," said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.
"It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs," Powell continued. "These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away." [...]
"You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud," Powell said. "How can it be widespread and undetected?"
Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said the new law sends the wrong message to minority voters. "What it really says to the minority voters is ... 'We really are sort-of punishing you,'" he said.
Of course, McCrory, the Republican-dominated state legislature, and similarly minded legislatures elsewhere will blow off Powell's criticisms. Just as they have blown off the same criticisms from others. The goal is still to suppress enough votes to shave a few percentage points from the Democratic tally, enough in some races to throw the victory to Republican candidates. If they can get away with that, and the U.S. Supreme Court has made that effort easier with its Shelby
decision, then they will continue to do so no matter what Powell and other highly placed critics have to say.
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