North Carolina Passes Sweeping Voting Restrictions Aimed At Minorities And Students

votersSince the Supreme Court’s striking down of a key portion of the Voting Rights Act in June, lawmakers in conservative Southern states have leapt into action passing legislation to restrict the ability of minorities, the young, the poor, and college students to vote. Via Buzzfeed, some of the most extreme changes are coming in North Carolina:

On Thursday, North Carolina legislators passed a revised voter ID bill, supported by Republicans who control the state Legislature, that would will place sweeping new restrictions on when, where, and how citizens can vote.

  • The early voting period will be shortened by a week, from 17 days to 10. Same-day registration during the early voting period will be eliminated.
  • Straight-party ticket voting will be eliminated.
  • Political party chairpersons will be allowed to designate up to 12 poll “observers” to monitor polling locations in order to ferret out voter fraud. Democracy North Carolina refers to these observers as “vigilantes.”
  • Sixteen- and 17-year-olds will no longer be allowed to pre-register to vote.
  • College and local government IDs will not longer be acceptable forms of identification to vote.
  • Out-of-precinct voting will no longer be allowed.
  • Counties will no longer be able to extend voting hours due to long lines or other extraordinary circumstances.

Republicans claim that the restrictions in House Bill 589, named “VIVA,” are necessary to combat “rampant” and “undetected” voter fraud. Democrats and voting rights groups argued that there is little evidence of such widespread voter fraud. The North Carolina Board of Elections reports that only 121 alleged cases of voter fraud were reported during the 2012 general election — approximately 0.00174% of the 6.9 million votes cast.

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  • marshall

    North Carolina Passes Sweeping Voting Restrictions Aimed At Minorities And Students. The most misleading headline ever. None of the new restriction have anything to do with “minorities” or students, they are just restrictions.

    • Herp Derp McGurt

      The key one for students is the out-of-precinct voting. Many of North Carolina’s liberal or more liberal cities are college towns. If you are a student living in a dorm, you don’t have a permanent address to establish residency in that city, and would have to potentially drive 3-4 hours to get home on a tuesday, meaning missing class, job, homework time, etc just to vote. It’s a backdoor kind of gerrymandering.

      • Fermatseye

        This is true and the real bummer. There are a lot of liberal leaning college students who vote so the bill serves the Republicans in this sense. The bummer is that it is just more self interest B.S. with these politicians. This is what they spend there time doing instead of working together to find solutions. Rep and Dems both are complete knuckleheads and they play us like a finely tuned insturment.

      • marshall

        absentee ballot? If one really cared about voting, they would make it regardless, but the reality is that there are almost no politicians worth voting for. Please do not misuse the term “liberal”, as the liberal movement is a totalitarian movement going back over 150 years. Liberals whom aren’t wealthy or royalty are tools, as well as anyone who supports a political party.

      • The Well Dressed Man

        Exactly. Formerly red Southern states that trended purple or even blue in recent elections are critical to 2016 electoral totals. I expect this sort of thing to really pick up steam.

    • JAD

      What do you think the observers will harass people for? You can’t ‘see’ illegals. You can see race. Historically proven, as well.

      • Herp Derp McGurt

        People seem to forget North Carolina is in the South.

      • marshall

        I understand and respect your sentiment, in this enlightened age, the individual must realize that there is in fact no such thing as race, and even regarding the notion through thought or spoken word is ignorant.

        • JAD

          Excuse me, we are all one race. sub in color|not white|minority

          • The Well Dressed Man

            I was raised to believe this. It seems to be increasingly important for many to point our ethnic differences. I’m not sure this is the way forward, but if it is, then everyone is responsible for and entitled to a positive ethnic identity.

          • marshall

            you are correct.

  • DeepCough

    Republicans just naturally hate democracy.

    • Just me

      It’s not the Republicans that are trampling on our 2nd and 4th amendment rights, it’s the Democrats! You know? The same Democrats that fought against abolishing slavery, the same Dem’s that gave birth to the KKK, the same Dem’s that opposed MLK and the civil rights marches he led.

      • DeepCough

        And in this day and age, all of those Democrats now vote for the GOP
        ticket. Talk about your irony, right?

        • Just me

          I see you’ve been drinking the Dem. Koolaid.

          • DeepCough

            I see you regurgitating the same talking points about the
            Democrats over and over again.

          • Andrew

            Some people drink the Dem. Koolaid, some people drink the Rep. Flavor Aid, and some drink neither.

      • bobbiethejean

        You are clearly ignorant of American history. Did you not know that the dems and reps switched names a long time ago? Liberals have always been liberal and conservatives have always been conservative, regardless of the name-switch. Liberals fought AGAINST slavery and AGAINST the KKK.

        • The Well Dressed Man

          I’m not sure it’s so simple. There was a considerable post-reconstruction role reversal exemplified by the “Southern Strategy.” Yet I’m very afraid our current administration is as damaging to our civil rights as the last.

          • bobbiethejean

            I don’t disagree with that but it’s not liberals who are the bad guys here and besides, what Just Me said up there is totally historically inaccurate.

          • The Well Dressed Man

            The article in question is a clear example of Republican shenanigans, but the Democrats work just as hard to control the vote.

            JM is technically accurate. The old Southern Democrats fought against reconstruction and the civil rights movement. The liberal and conservative labels have also been stretched pretty far. At the present time our establishment “liberals” seem to be working to strengthen the surveillance state, while the “conservatives” are working tirelessly to dismantle social programs while redistributing wealth to the elites. Meet the new boss… same as the old.

          • bobbiethejean

            Part of his sentence may be technically accurate but you know goddamned well he’s not actually accurate. He’s trying to blame the sins of old conservatism upon the liberals of today. That is outlandishly stupid and there is no justification. The democrats of today are not the same democrats who fought against emancipation all those years ago. So what he’s saying is just patently wrong.

          • The Well Dressed Man

            I thought JM’s reply to DC was (mostly) appropriate. The mud can be slung both ways. Outright racism by Democrat leaders continued into the 1960s. I feel like both parties have been using race as a wedge issue since, and that neo-liberalism has largely superseded the old lib/con duality of our leaders in terms of geopolitics and economics.

          • bobbiethejean

            “It’s not the Republicans that are trampling on our 2nd and 4th amendment rights, it’s the Democrats! You know? The same Democrats that fought against abolishing slavery, the same Dem’s that gave birth to the KKK, the same Dem’s that opposed MLK and the civil rights marches he led.”

            NO. Those are NOT the same democrats, the end. This isn’t even arguable. It’s not not a matter of opinion.

          • The Well Dressed Man

            :) I thought we were discussing the history of a political party. If we want to be painfully literal, the civil war generation died a long time ago, and most of our current leaders were still children during the civil rights era… within this limited domain there’s nothing more to discuss.

    • InfvoCuernos

      There are a couple of items here that are as much against dems as republicans. I know that Obama used an army of polling observers in 2008 in order to prevent fraud. Its not a bad idea, as long as all parties are represented. Since when do 16 year olds get to vote? I understand a 17 yr old that is going to be 18 on election day, but 16? What’s that about?

      • DeepCough

        “Sixteen- and 17-year-olds will no longer be allowed to pre-register to vote.”

        • InfvoCuernos

          nope, still not getting it. why does a 16 yr old need to “pre- register” to vote?

  • http://pneumerology.com/ pneumerology

    I’m not sure how much this matters. We don’t live in a democracy anyway. Campaign promises are almost always bullshit and politicians don’t represent the people who vote for them. Legislation is deceptive doubletalk with sabotaging riders attached. There is no balance of legislative, judicial and executive powers. Law makers are law breakers. Votes don’t matter much and most of the time there’s nobody worth voting for anyway. The whole system is so corrupt and dysfunctional it doesn’t even need to be overthrown, because it is going to destroy itself due to the sheer stupidity and meanness of the politicians.

    People can change all this just by living differently. And if they can’t muster the balls to do that, they get the government they deserve… which is exactly what happened and why politics and government have become the criminal enterprise they are today.

    • Herp Derp McGurt

      It matters because the less accountable politicians are held for bullshit like this, the more entrenched corruption gets and the more normal it becomes for practices that disenfranchise segments of the public to be defended as “routine”. Unless you subscribe to the idea that our voting system has been null and useless since its inception, I don’t really see how ceding additional power to the government is something that doesn’t matter.

      Even then, if voting is all just for show, it is still a show the government has to put on. The more power we cede them and don’t act, the more voting and democratic process go from masquerade to mere formality. The pretense at least acts as a buffer to keep us from turning into a situation like Mexico has right now.

      And no, the government is not so dysfunctional as to make collapse inevitable. It will collapse only when it can no longer draw revenue from the public, or when people put too much pressure on it to be something it can’t. Otherwise it will continue to operate with impunity as the “government we deserve”, as you so eloquently put it. It’s probably nice to appear shrewd and exhort people to “live differently”, but for us in not-on-the-internet-world (i.e. North Carolina) we now have to live with massive cuts to unemployment, cuts in teacher benefits, massive restrictions to abortions, an attempt to establish a state religion, local judges continually incarcerating people who have already been declared innocent, and now a set of policies that are eroding what little agency we as a state have over our government. Living differently is easy to do when you have the resources and position in society to achieve it, but for most people they have to live with the system as it is, and I think that they matter too.

      • http://pneumerology.com/ pneumerology

        I don’t contest the validity of what you are saying. But to some extent we are saying the same thing… government is not responsive to the actual conditions and desires of the majority of the citizens. Short of a violent revolution, what can we do about that? And the track record of violent revolutions isn’t very impressive… most often it just replaces one gang of thugs with another gang of thugs.

        The history of governments in general kind of indicates to me that the problem isn’t government itself. It doesn’t matter so much if you have a democratic system or a socialist system or a monarchy etc, they are all subject to corruption and being taken over by an anti-social minority. In America, in my opinion, this take-over has already occurred in pretty much all of our institutions: government, business, education, military, religion etc. And this is just history repeating itself.

        The much talked about “declining middle class” is also the primary enabler of the take-over by this anti-social minority. They take the jobs serving the corporations, design and build the weapons, write the newspaper articles and so on. The monsters in charge could never succeed without all that assistance from the rest of us. We take the jobs, buy all the useless shit, and line up every day to consume our ration of propaganda… Middleclass slave to the 1%: “hey, you need me to become a racist or a sexist or echo your nonsense about American exceptionalism or applaud you for invading somebody… I’m there for you baby. Whatever I need to do so I can keep my house and car and TV.”

        That suggests the problem is not the institutions, the problem is human nature. Whatever the institutional state of things may be, we all still live our lives day by day for as long as they last.

        My point is not so much that votes and government don’t matter. My point is that neither you nor I nor anyone else is disempowered by corrupt institutions. We still have the power to make our own decisions and choose our own actions. My point is that if enough people just stop cooperating and enabling the corruption and hate mongering, we would disempower the monsters, whether we vote or not.

      • http://pneumerology.com/ pneumerology

        Let me try this again. Here’s my theory…
        Every human has a nature or character. Being social, i.e. forming groups, is part of our nature. Because we have a brain, think, use symbolic languages AND have a lot of sensory and genetic input — we organize all this information into a worldview.
        Evolution requires variety in the mix. Variety will inevitably produce extremes of all kinds of things. A successful mix is what we call normal: the center portion of the entire range.
        So, there is variety in the worldviews of humans. And we like to hang out with our own kind.
        Some people are what other people would call assholes. As a matter of fact, everybody is. All these various assholes seek membership in groups, because they like to hang out with their own kind. Thus, various clubs, societies, political parties, religious sects, and other institutions come into existence.
        My point here is that the institutions come into existence because people want them. The people create the institutions: the institutions do not create the people.
        These institutions exist because of shared worldviews.
        Therefore, in the clash between worldviews, the most effective strategy is to strengthen the shared worldviews you favor, by participating in them. Hang out with those people who are your own kind, do stuff together, encourage each other and help each other out, find somebody to marry, have a party once in a while.
        Succeed by getting stuff done and having more fun than those other assholes. Play your own game. Choose your own battles. Live your own life.
        That’s my theory.

  • BuzzCoastin

    like voting actually matters
    OMG they can’t vote for Coke or Pepsi
    without jumping through hoops
    what has come of things Mildred?!

    makes ya think voting actually counts
    for something other than empowering bullshit

    • The Well Dressed Man

      I’m afraid you’re right. Curious about your expat experience this way. Do you have the option of voting in the States? Could you “participate” in the political process in your new home if so inclined?

      • BuzzCoastin

        once there is no longer democracy
        there is voting
        voting or no voting
        monied elites rule the roost
        best to avoid the whole mess
        and escape while you can

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