Back home in North Carolina, the Zandarparents inform me that new GOP Gov. Pat McCrory and the Tea Partified legislature are on a roll now that Democratic Gov. Bev Purdue is gone. She was the only thing standing between the Tarheel State and nonsense like this.
Two bills filed by Republican lawmakers seek to cut back early voting and eliminate same-day registration in North Carolina.
Senate Bill 428, filed by Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, would cut the early voting period from two weeks to one and would eliminate same-day voter registration.
House Bill 451, filed by Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, goes even further. In addition to cutting early voting and same-day registration, it would also outlaw early voting on Sunday and straight-ticket voting.
To recap, Republicans are happily running in NC on “We want fewer people to vote, and fewer people to be allowed to vote.” Nobody apparently sees the problems with this. They’re not even trying to hide the fact that it’s voter suppression anymore.
Democrats say such bills are intended to make it harder to vote and will disproportionately affect low-income, working and minority voters – groups that traditionally favor Democrats.
The Sunday ban, in particular, would affect popular “Souls to the Polls” voting drives at African-American churches.
“I think Sundays just should be – some things you just shouldn’t do on Sundays, so I am just opposed to voting on Sunday,” Starnes said.
You can practically see the hidden “those people” before the word “voting” in that sentence there. But again, Republicans are actively saying A) we make it too easy to vote in North Carolina, so we should probably put an end to it, because if you can’t vote during banker’s hours on a Tuesday, you don’t deserve to be a part of the body politic.
Tillman said his bill isn’t meant to be partisan, noting all voters would still have equal access to the polls. Meanwhile, he said, keeping early voting sites open for two weeks costs money that could be better spent elsewhere.
“We’re paying people for two weeks to run those election centers,” he said. “Let’s cut it to one week, and we can do the same thing. It’s not to disenfranchise anybody.”
Why should representative democracies spend money on stupid crap like “voting”, anyway? GOP learned their lesson in Ohio, and that lesson is “if the minorities can vote, we lose.” Gotta actively legislate the end of that, call it non-partisan, and say God didn’t want you to vote on Sundays anyway, plus why are we spending money to hold elections? Let’s take the difference and cut some taxes for some one percenters, and they’ll create votes instead!
Oh but it gets worse: Gov. McCrory has just let the state’s Latino population know just what he thinks about them.
North Carolina’s Latino advocates are voicing alarm following the governor’s decision to eliminate the state’s office for Latino affairs.
The closing of the Office of Hispanic/Latino affairs was sudden and caught many by surprise. The move appears to have exacerbated the already tense relationship between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the Latino community, including criticism over a driver’s license plan for young immigrants.
Advocates say it sends a message that McCrory and Raleigh conservatives are less concerned with the needs of the Latino community. Paradoxically, it comes at a time when issues of deep concern, such as immigration, are at the political forefront.
A spokesman for the governor said the duties of the office were being shifted to the office of community and constituent affairs.
How can they eliminate straight ticket voting? Why do they even want to do that?
They’re expecting their guys on the Supreme Court to invalidate Section V of the VRA, so they’re finally getting to pass all the voter suppression stuff the Feds have prevented them from implementing before. If they’re allowed to get away with this, you can be sure that more restrictive measures will not be far behind.
Outlawing straight party ticket voting must be a stunt for the GOP primary base. If there is any serious explanation for how such a bill would actually work, I would like to hear it.
But, overall, why be surprised.
Well, I am surprised at the eruption of bigotry, hate, and goofery in the immediate wake of the announcement of GOP PR campaign of open minded niceness. Hard to explain, unless the very idea of such a thing (weak sauce and bogus as it is) drives the GOP back benchers and troops batshit crazy.
@Roger Moore: I’d like to think that that behavior would trigger a backlash of repeating Section V so as to pass modern constitutional muster. Given the nihilistic party-over-country attitude of the modern GOP, I’m not sanguine about that.
@Roger Moore: It’s all OK and fits in with new Mr. Nice Guy GOP. It’s not just against blacks now, but Hispanics, immigrants, youth, college students, poor, working class with shit jobs that give no timeout for voting, weak parasitic sicksters, and non-rich oldsters regardless of race, creed or national origin. Now, for the GOP, that is some big tent equal opportunity thinking!
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
During the election, we had a local (Raleigh area) black radio preacher advocating for Romney because of teh ghey. He got a lot of pushback, largely because of voter suppression. I can be hopeful this crap will get more of us off our duffs and doing something for 2014, right?
@jl: Pretty sure it refers to the option of checking one box and voting for one party in every race. Reduces undervoting and wait times, so of course it has to go. Can’t have top-of-the-ticket turnout increasing Democratic votes in down-ballot races.
Voter suppression; gerrymandering; filibustering; blocking Obama’s judicial nominees(especially for the DC circuit); gutting a century’s worth of campaign finance laws; gutting the Voting Rights Act(a pillar of the civil rights movement); destroying the public school and university system; ALEC literally writing legislation all over the country; it all undermines the will of the voter, and is essentially fascism.
When will the media connect the dots?
In my NC precinct, at least, voting is really easy. There’s a readily understood ballot form (I’ve studied such things), and right near the top there’s a straight ticket check box (not really a checkbox, but a line for the optical scanner). In the last election, the ballot ran to a couple of dozen candidates, and except for the judges, just voting for all the Democrats was much quicker than choosing individual candidates.
One motivation for no straight-ticket voting is simply to make it take longer.
Unpossible. If the Supreme Court throws out Section V, the only way to make a replacement pass constitutional muster will be to replace once of the justices who voted to throw it out. Any reason they give will be a rationalization that can be replaced by a different rationalization if and when Congress manages to pass a replacement.
In a way, the media is a dot and so well connected. They don’t want to work, they want to go to parties and be rich celebrities.
Thanks for the info. I did not know that you could still do that in some states.
Why not go back to olde tymey go to courthouse, swear in and vote orally in public? That was big in the South in Madison’s day.
Or, have preprinted ballots with different colors for each party, with local ward heelers at the polling place keeping track of who dropped what into the box?
If Rand Paul keeps rising, I look for an unregulated free market in ballots being proposed to Solve All Electoral Problems. Or weight votes by wealth (already do that for some local tax measures in CA).
Apropos of the Supreme Court—met Sotomayor coming out of the train at Penn Station. She’s super nice. I gave her a thumbs up and she smiled.
She’s quickly becoming my favorite.
The elimination of ‘souls to the polls’ in Florida and Ohio obviously backfired in the last pres election.
Why doesn’t the GOP do their own church organizing on Sunday?
They could call it, “PECKERWOODS TO THE POLLS”.
McCrory is also proposing the elimination of the box to donate to political parties on state income tax forms. I suspect it hurts Dems more.
Mine too. Forceful and sharp. Kagan was kick ass this week too.
Others have tried this shit before. We kicked their ass. We will do it again. They will need more than guns and hate, because we have brains, heart and numbers. Fuck these cowards.
She’s a wise Latina. :-)
I’ve liked her since she saved the 1995 baseball season.
North Carolina is about to get the government they voted for, and they’re about to get it good and hard. We can just shame them by saying they’re becoming more and more like South Carolina. I hear tell that irks them slightly.
Rock Choke Jayhawk.
I lived there for three years. Comparing NC to SC is a brilliant idea.
I’m not going into details here, but:
(A) my job requires being nice to these NC Rethugs
(B) I plan to leave said job fairly soon
(A) and (B) are not unrelated
Brendan in NC
@Yutsano: We Democrats in the big cities here in NC keep trying…but it’s hard to shame a group of people who have no shame at all. It’s all God, guns, and teh icky gays outside Asheville, Charlotte, or the Triad (Raleigh-Durham area).
Confederate flag comes down at NC capitol. Yahoo news headline.
I hope you give them a piece of your mind when you leave. Or at least the finger!
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
And because they basically rule on the state level and in the courts, they’ll probably continue to get away with this shit, won’t they? Perhaps not enough to secure their place in Federal gov’t, but to secure their continued stranglehold on the state level.
I never figured you for a gay male prostitute.
more like apartheid amurka.
@SiubhanDuinne: Ah, we’ll celebrate when/if you retire.
@MikeJ: Fuckin A!
WTF kind of play was that? He had the layup to tie the game.
@wonkie: We don’t have straight ticket voting in New York either. You have to pull all the levers on the same row – rather, fill in all the bubbles now that the lever machines have been relegated to school budget elections and such. This is small beer compared to the other nonsense the Teatards want to do in NC.
We also have fusion, so we get to make political statements like voting for our favorite Democrats on the Working Families line. Mostly symbolic, since you still end up with just two candidates from which to choose, but still…
That was one dumb ass play by Kansas. Good, fuck Bill Self.
@Hill Dweller: No shit, either that or he would have gone to the line, maybe both!
@JPL: You’re invited to the party!
@raven: Self is a good coach, but they’ve had come monumental chokes in the tournament during his tenure. If not for snagging that NC back in 2008, they’d probably have fired his ass by now.
The one thing that concerns me about 2016 is whether the Clintons will invest in a ground game the way Black Jimmy Carter did.
As smart as the Clinton personally are, their campaign advisers (Mark Penn, Dick Morris, Harold Ickes, Stephanopoulos, Begala) are idiots.
In 2008 they has almost no ground game and ceded small states, caucus states, and red states to Obummer.
Will they invest significantly to get souls to the polls in Virginia and Florida or will they just listen to their lazy, moronic advisers who simply want to run tee vee commercials.
Idiotic. Passed up the easy shot at the tie, for what?
@Hill Dweller: Sorry, I’m an Illini. Fuck him.
@TR: The win.
Worst choke I can recall tonight; Kansas fans have to be blowing chunks tonight.
Last #1 standing is Louisville.
Clinton can win two terms in a cakewalk. I’m a little worried about 2024 however.
@The Dangerman: The should have run a pickle roll!
@Baud: Oh, okay. No need to worry about efforts to ban minority and elderly voters.
@David Koch: Time to blood some newer & bolder faces. Tired of clintons & their cabals.
Well, there are non-presidential elections to worry about so I wouldn’t go that far.
ETA: I’ll concede that the Clintons’ prior associations are worrisome.
@The Dangerman: Bracket is now in tatters but not sorry to see Self fall. Michigan State looking to ad to the upsets.
NC getting the government they voted for. Hope they enjoy ‘moderate’ Pat McCrory give them a nice tea-flavored government that would make Nikki Haley and those backwards clowns to the south proud.
Note to bible thumpers: Sunday is not the Sabbath! Your god doesn’t give a shit what you do on Sunday if your shit isn’t together the rest of the week.
I dunno’ why they’d eliminate it, either, unless they know that most straight tickets are from the metropolitan areas where “those people” live.
because: some people will just vote President and then Senator and Rep, Gov maybe, and … then … maybe Lt Leaf-collector … and then give up because there are 109 slots on a ballot.
but the GOP party faithful will dutifully check all the boxes on the sample ballot.
don’t blame me. i voted straight Dem.
Never assume competency among rethugs, other than being stupid and evil.
Jack the Second
Anyone want to bet on which state will be the first to outright disenfranchise all non-whites? My money is on SC.
@cleek: that, and also Republicans are quite sure that whenever they lose anything it’s because dumb people flooded the polls and voted mindlessly. Ironic, really.
NC isn’t emulating SC, it’s becoming North Mississippi.
yup. that’s really all i can fathom they’re thinking… “we’ll confuse our way to victory!”
well… maybe they’re thinking … “if the people can’t just check one box, maybe they’ll have to think about all the races. and then our awesome message will guarantee us all the lower seats. and that will help our bench! AHA! screw you, 0barma ground game!”
“Outlawing straight party ticket voting” means that the ballot’s not allowed to a have a “vote for all democrats” or “vote for all republicans” bubble on it. These straight ticket bubbles have become more popular in various states over the years as a way to increase voter engagement for people who don’t have the time to follow the critical local dog catcher or transportation administrator races.
pseudonymous in nc
Because, let’s face it, nobody makes a conscious decision to vote for State Commissioner of Widgets. Presumption must be that Dem-leaning voters are less likely to fill in the downballot races, since they’re not bitter old white folks with too much time on their hands.
NC is going to be an object lesson in what happens when a bunch of radicals on borrowed time, courtesy of the post-2010 gerrymander, have a brief window of power to fuck things up as much as possible. I hate to make the comparison to Pol Pot’s Year Zero, but it feels apposite here.
I suspect that it’s going to be worse than SC, which already has one-party rule on the state level, because the NC GOP has a century’s worth of scores it wants to settle before it either gets turfed out or people start saying “fuck this” and moving elsewhere.
@Hill Dweller: Hahahaha. Their six-figure salaries depend on them not discovering it.
Even if the SCOTUS does strike down Section 5 of the VRA, does anyone actually believe that the country, or a single state in it, will just tuck its head down and tamely return to anything resembling a pre-1965 voting rights regime?
Does anyone doubt that buildings would burn? Does anyone doubt that it would be wholly justified?
Our wingnuts are world-class, no doubt about it. McCrory sucked when he was mayor here, and if not for scandals within the Dem party here, Bev might have persevered. Our loss.
@1badbaba3: “Others have tried this shit before. We kicked their ass. We will do it again. They will need more than guns and hate, because we have brains, heart and numbers. Fuck these cowards.”
@wonkie: @Ben Cisco: Nah, it was Pat’s time, just like it was Bev’s time 4 years ago. That’s how it works here in Mayberry. Also too, the GOP will find out what happens when one party rule sets in–everything will be their fault, no matter whose fault it is.
@Mike E: From your keyboard to the Prophets’ ears.
@pseudonymous in nc:
The intergenerational aspect of our ongoing cold civil war is really having a corrosive effect. These days, every time I pass a white person over the age of 50, I have to stop myself from silently thinking “just die already and do the world some good, you evil piece of shit”. And I’m white and over the age of 50.
@Yutsano: Exactly. Whenever the Repubs get power, they abuse it. I do feel sorry for the minorities, gays, etc., who did not vote for Repubs and are about to get slammed.
“This is your NC GOP minority outreach right here, a clenched fist and a smash in the jaw.”
My question exactly. How to they plan to impliment that part of the law? What about people who vote a straight Republican ticket as most people do who are registered with that party.
Will they decide not to count the votes that come in that way?
Sometimes I have to laugh because I know that these rules are directed at the Democratic minority, but the truth is, they affect their own voters almost equally. There are almost as many poor whites, church going white Sunday voters and elderly Republican voters without transportation or the ablilty to register as there are minority voters.
I know because it happened here in Florida this past November: yes we Democrats worked hard to turn out the vote, but we were helped by the fact the many Republicans didn’t know the rules had changed and so didn’t get to vote.