Rick Hasen, expert on all things voting related, has a good piece on the new restrictions in North Carolina:
Until last month, 40 of North Carolina’s 100 counties were covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Fat chance the DOJ or a three-judge court would have given approval of House Bill 589, at least as it passed out of a Senate Committee after a raucous session this week. The bill is a nightmare for voting-rights advocates: not only does it include a strict voter-ID law and provision shortening early voting and eliminating same-day voter registration for early voting, but it’s also a laundry list of ways to make it harder for people to vote, and which cannot plausibly be justified on antifraud grounds.
Thanks to the Supreme Court, this measure no longer requires federal approval before it can go into effect. And while we can be sure that voting-rights advocates will challenge this law in court once it passes, they will do so under much tougher voting-rights standards. Many of these laws could well pass constitutional review under other Roberts Court precedents that have been none-too-friendly to voting rights and challenges to voter-identification laws.
There seems little doubt that the Republican legislature has passed these laws in an attempt to gain partisan advantage. As Nate Cohn explains, a recent study by the State Board of Elections on just the voter-ID portion of the law certainly would have its greatest negative impact on nonwhite voters likely to vote for Democrats, and likely many other parts of the law will as well.
There is good reason to think, however, that there will be a strong reaction from Democrats, minority voters, and voting-rights activists if this law passes. Litigation to bar paid voter-registration drives will probably be struck down. Activists will spend considerable energy seeking to negate the effects of these laws and to increase turnout.
Just ask Republican legislators in Florida. They passed their own cutbacks in voter registration and early voting before the 2012 elections. Voting-rights advocates eventually got the registration rules thrown out. After Election Day in Florida saw some people waiting hours to vote, and Florida was once again held up as the example of how not to run an election and a friendly Republican home for voter suppression, the Florida legislature repealed the cutback in early voting and other voting restrictions. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, seeing Florida’s experience, abandoned his effort to eliminate same-day voter registration in the state. The story of the 2012 election was a story of voter and judicial backlash against Republican overreaching on voting.
These two pieces jump out at me, because I haven’t seen them before:
Eliminate provisional voting if someone shows up at the wrong precinct.
Provisional ballots were sold to the public as a back-up to protect the right to vote. If conservatives are now moving to limit provisional balloting, that seems to me to be a new front in this war.
shortening early voting
Prohibit counties from extending poll hours by one hour on Election Day in extraordinary circumstances, such as in response to long lines.
I don’t think this restriction will survive a court. Conservatives in North Carolina can’t create long lines to “wait out” the voters they disfavor by restricting measures designed to avoid long lines (early voting) then refuse to accommodate the voters who are trying to deal with the long lines the state deliberately created.
One of the things I thought about seeing the long lines in Florida last cycle was people with small children. If you’ve been a poll worker, you know it is very common for people to bring small children when they vote. Obviously small children can’t be left home alone, so that’s one good reason, but some parents bring little kids along to show them what voting is about. That isn’t a problem when it’s a short wait but could be a real disaster if we’re talking about 2 or 3 or 4 hour waits. The length of the line itself could be a real deterrent to parents with babies or young children, especially if they don’t know they have to wait on a long line until they arrive.
In happier North Carolina news, commenter Summer is still planning another Balloon Juice meet-up in North Carolina:
ten people have responded to the post and it looks like we’re going to have us a meetup! (8/5)
Please email summerjsmith97 at gmail if you’d like to be there or influence scheduling toward another date.
Thanks for highlighting these issues Kay. I have to think that all of these attempts to restrict voting by “those people” will come back and bite the GOP in the ass.
I don’t think this restriction will survive a court.
Maybe, but isn’t there pretty good chance that nobody will be able to show harm resulting from this restriction until at least one butchered election takes place?
Mike in NC
The local paper today covered the new budget passed by the NC Republicans, which will be rubber-stamped by our Koch-owned shithead governor Pat McCrory:
(1) Huge tax cuts for the rich and for out-of-state corporations, which the GOP “predicts” will result in more corporate investment and thus more job creation, despite the fact that this has never worked out anywhere else where they’ve done this.
(2) To offset #1, more taxes on poor and middle income individuals/families, plus cuts in public education, consumer services, transportation, etc. all the way down the line.
(3) Restrictions on how, when, and where people can vote to prevent them from getting any payback on the asshole Republicans.
It’s a winning strategy for the Neo-Confederates.
c u n d gulag
” The length of the line itself could be a real deterrent…”
The overall purpose behind all of this, is that Conservatives want voting to be such a hassle, that less and less people go and vote.
And that eliminates them from doing the obvious, which is what they’d really like, but it’s just TOO OBVIOUSLY DISCRIMINATORY – the only acceptable valid ID, being a “I Am A White Conservative” voter card.
Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.)
These laws are just shit, but somehow what bugs me even more in a more visceral, emotional way are the assholes who show up here or places like TPM who insist that these laws are reasonable and warranted. “I have to show an I.D. to buy beer or fly, why is this any big deal?” they’ll ask. Or, “Why do you think it’s all right for illegal immigrants to vote?” I guess you’re a big fan of having deaad people vote!” And, inevitably, some asswipe will talk about dead people voting in CHicago, because, you know, Obama! Chicago! William Ayers! Thugs! Negroes voting! I guess some of them even believe this shit, though I think a lot of them know what this means and are just lying abouot it being no big deal.
I can’t really believe that anybody could be so thickheaded as to believe that anybody would try to steal an election through voter impersonation (Really? Tens or hundreds of thousands of people showing up in other people’s names? And nobody would pick up on this?), but I guess there’s no safe way to underestimate the stupidity of wingnuts.
I guess what pisses me off so much about this is the blind, willful stupidity involved. I mean, yeah, privaatizing Social Security, to choose one random example, would be disastrous, and a lot of the arguments for it are brain dead dumb. But you don’t have to be an ignorant moron to argue for it or advocate it. To seriously put forth these fuckwitted voter restriction laws and argue with a straight face that we need them, you have to either have the brain of a rutabaga, or you have to pretend to be as dumb as a rutabaga.
I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but it does.
There really should be pitchfork & torch vigils outside Chief Justice Roberts house every single night.
@c u n d gulag:
I agree with you. I hate the provisional balloting process, as a process. The whole “pull them out of line and send them wandering around with a pack of papers” bothers me. Ohio conservatives like black-bordered boxes with dire warnings on FRAUD, everywhere, too. It’s ridiculous, and it’s a horrible way to treat people.
What ever happened to Peak Wingnut?
@Cervantes: Turns out there’s an unlimited supply of fear and stupidity.
I can’t believe this happens without people realizing what the Republicans are doing. They’re not even trying to hide it. It’s so blatant.
Of course it will. If every precinct in the state closes at 8:00, but the people in Precinct A decide to stay open until 9:00 due to long lines, it’s completely unfair to the voters in Precincts B, C, and D that they didn’t have the opportunity for an extra hour of voting. By the magic of Bush v. Gore, that violates equal protection, and voila. Opinion by Chief Justice Roberts on behalf of himself and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito.
Up next — 20 voting machines per precinct, except in Precinct A where they’re poor and can only afford 5 voting machines, and the Roberts court explanation of why that is perfectly fair and Constitutional.
@PeakVT: That’s what happened with the Indiana law that started this mess. The ICLU took them to court before there had been an election under the new ID law and the court said you haven’t shown anyone has been harmed. Too bad they didn’t wait until after the election when the 90 year old convent nuns were not allowed to vote because they didn’t have a driver’s license.
On the North Carolina voter suppression bill and similar efforts by GOP-led state legislatures nation-wide after the Shelby County decision, what Digby said:
“As Scalia famously said in Bush vs Gore: there is no constitutional right to vote. And he and his comrades on the court obviously also believe that there’s no reason every citizen should vote. I will be looking forward to their explanation as to how weakening disclosure requirements and raising the contribution limits will prevent ‘voter fraud.'” [other provisions in the NC bill]
They’re in this horrible cycle ‘o lies. A lot of them know there’s no voter impersonation fraud, but the media arm of the GOP have so promoted the lie that they have to address it, because the base demands it.
If they admit it’s bullshit and actually make an attempt to administer elections competently they discredit respected conservative “journalists” like John Fund of the WSJ, who has made a career out of grifting on voter fraud conspiracy theories.
the local NPR station is all over this stuff. every AM they have a sound-bite dual between an NC House Dem and an NC House Rep. and every AM they both say the same thing. the Dem says it’s a blatant attempt to suppress minority votes, and the Rep says it will “restore confidence in the voting process”.
one of these days, i hope to hear the reporter ask “and why was that confidence lost? could it have anything to do with the GOP’s insistence that an undocumented phenomenon is actually rampant ?”
They know they are on the wrong end of a demographic shift in the country overall and are trying desperately to cling to the shreds of power they have left. North Carolina, in particular, a model of what is happening nationwide. Remember that NC went for Obama by a narrow margin in 2008 and was very close in 2012. The wingnuts know that without these voter suppression laws NC will be a purple state in a few years, and a blue state within twenty years.
There’s your prima facie case under Section 2, all neatly wrapped and tied with a pretty bow. Probable success on the merits? Like, duh. These rules will never go into effect.
That said, anybody who voted yes needs to pay with their seat. North Carolina needs to be the battleground in 2014, and voting rights needs to be the issue.
They’re not even pretending anymore. They don’t have to, apparently.
–separating the presidential primary from the rest of the state primary races because only the most committed angry old white person will come back a second time and they’ll all vote for them;
–repealing the public financing of non-partisan judicial elections that was making it too hard for the Koch’s and Acting Governor Pope to buy judges;
–ending straight party voting–North Carolina has already separated the presidential races from the straight party ballot, but evidently, that’s not enough. Because you know, only angry old white people have the mental acuity and patience to vote separately in each race. Those people, and those damn kids, are flighty and won’t do it;
–Allow angry old white guys to drive down to the part of town where Those People live and challenge voters (because what could go wrong?); oh, and, just as icing on the cake,
–repeal the tax deduction for parents of any college student who votes in a county other than the one where the parents live (because fundamental right to vote, poll tax amendment and equal protection clause be damned).
If it was possible, I would personally track down every goddamn person who sat on their ass in 2010 because they didn’t think it mattered or thought Democrats had it in the bag or they got their fee-fees huwt and didn’t get their pony, or didn’t want anyone to think they were voting for teh gays, and, especially, every goddamn person who didn’t bother to vote in the state legislative races in 2012 and kick their asses up between their ears.
Or maybe just the ones who don’t realize that the people they effectively voted for are doing that to them anyway.
When the ancient greeks voted in assemblies, they adopted the practice of voting by extending their empty right hands upwards, so they could be counted. The empty hands signified that no weapons were being displayed, and that each vote was a decision to forego violence and to settle the present issue by peaceful means.
Some people ought to keep in mind that if the public is not allowed to have an empty hand counted, they will find some other way to have their vote counted, using a not-empty hand.
@burnspbesq: IANAL but don’t they have to go into effect, under section two, and then an individual sue claiming that they were, personally, affected?
“some parents bring little kids along to show them what voting is about”
My mom was one of those parents. She’d take me with her and we’d stop for her to vote on the way to her job/my school. When I whined and wanted to know what we were waiting in line about, she explained to me that voting was the most important thing she ever did. As I got older, she still took me with her and explained in more detail what voting was about and what it meant.
She never missed voting in an election in her entire life.
Neither have I.
There was some “Voter Integrity Project” dipshit on my radio last night just gushing about how wonderful this bill is. I got so pissed off that I emailed this to the radio host this morning
I hope that the DOJ goes after NC the way they are supposed to be going after Texas (from my twitter feed).
Nope. Preliminary injunctive relief is expressly authorized in actions filed by DOJ. See Voting Rights Act of 1965, Section 12(d).
Bill in Section 147
They have lapped fascism and are gaining on the Stalin-era Soviet state. Basically you have to be a Republican to vote. Its a feature…
Forum Transmitted Disease
White, male, property owner, over 35. Those are the only people Jesus intended to vote.
That’s in the Constitution – later amended, but these folks see any amendment past the tenth as placed there by government tyranny – and that’s what they’re going to try to bring it back to.
Just a thought.
I wouldn’t worry too much about them.
The True the Vote crowd were over-hyped in the last election. It was mainly (IMO) an opportunity for voter impersonation fraud grifters (O’Keefe, Fund) to make some money fleecing the base.
They were a joke in Ohio. They came from out of state, they had no idea what they were supposed to file or what the rules are, and there were WAY fewer of them than we were led to believe were coming.
It’s hard work. It takes years to build a really solid volunteer program. One of the keys is not to piss off local election people and poll workers. Even the GOP sec of state hated True The Vote by the end of 2012, because they made his job more difficult. Everyone did.
James E. Powell
What did you expect? “Welcome, sonny”? “Make yourself at home”? “Marry my daughter”?
Nope. See comment 23 re preliminary injunctive relief under VRA Section 12.
The New Yorker had a long piece about operation Red State, which Republicans like former GOP chair Ed Gillespie, post Citizens United, decided to flood local races with money to flip state and local governments.
The article focuses on Art Pope’s role in the 2010 election in NC, so it maybe appropriate to this thread.
2010 wasn’t just Democrats staying home. It was Republicans putting in a strategy to counter the losses of 2008 and Democrats not appreciating the post-CU electoral dynamics.
OT: Google doodle = AWESOME!!!
The best way to make all this backfire? Get out the damn vote anyway! They can put up barriers, but the barriers can never be insurmountable.
A bit OT, but I am amazed at the open contempt for the President of the United States that is on display every time McConnel or Boehner step up to a microphone.
And as I said in an earlier thread, all the new voting restrictions are DESIGNED to make it harder for those who vote for Democrats to vote.
I wonder if John Roberts is satisfied with what he has accomplished. I predict history will not be kind…..
Off thread – I just tried to read a Ezra Klein piece. I have a logon with WaPo but apparently now WaPo pieces can only be read if you pay for a subscription. I refuse to give them any money (although I would pay for just Ezra & Greg Sargent). I kept getting a circular link back to a generic front page and it never did let me through. I heard the WaPo was going to go paywall. Sucks if this is what it is.
As someone who lives in North Carolina, I am just embarrassed and angry at what is happening in our state. My husband is from upstate New York, and it took him a good while to get used to the open religiosity and proud right-wing political philosophy of so many people here (and we live in a liberal bastion of the state!). I could point to the great Universities, the fact that we were trending blue in the past few elections, and they growing presence of high-tech and other knowledge workers to say, “see, it’s getting better.” Now he just shakes his head and laments about ‘drowning in a sea of rednecks’.
There are many of us working in grassroots efforts to beat back this shit, but Art Pope did his due diligence and bought himself a legislature over the course of the past two elections (2010 and 2012). I am afraid we will be fighting this fight for a long time – perhaps up until 2020 and the next census/re-districting process.
@Yatsuno: Kicking buts is good, but also too: take names. Publicly shame every last GOP rep and senator who voted for this. Publish ads in the papers, picket their appearances, boycott their business. Make them poison so that they don’t dare to pull a stunt like this again.
There’s a recognition in election law generally that once the opportunity is lost, as to THAT specific election, it can’t be remedied. That’s why we see those emergency orders when there’s a power outage or they run out of ballots and such. They can act quickly. In Ohio, they designate a common pleas judge in each county to sign emergency orders ahead of time, so he or she is available after-hours and ready.
That is all very well and good Kay but these assholes are the ones that pushed the provisions of this bill. I seem to remember that they were claiming something like 500 people who had got out of Jury duty because they weren’t citizens were somehow registered to vote. Of course it turned out to be bullshit but it didn’t stop them pushing this bill on the back of it.
Also worth noting: Holder announced yesterday that DOJ is going to file a motion in the District Court in DC today to have Texas bailed in (i.e., put back under preclearance).
Even POLITICO has put up a paywall. Who in their right mind would pay good money for the meanderings of a bunch of mindless jerks?
@Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.): The sheer implausiblity of the “fraud” is obvious when you think of it, but most people don’t. You have to say these laws are not about registering but voting. The name is already on the voter rolls. For “impersonation” to take place, the fraudulent voter has to claim to be someone the rolls. And the legit voter has to have not yet voted and not come in afterwards and raise a stink about being told someone already voted in their name. How is it possible for that to happen thousands of times with no press? And why should it happen in early voting more?
The logic of it doesn’t stand up, but no one seems to point that out except us.
Of course, there are laws about same day registration and purging the rolls too, but that’s a different story.
Only chance we get is to focus on 2020 when the next redistricting takes place after the census. It’s why Dems are in a mess now. The Faux teaturd movement got lots involved at the state lvl and we got our clocks cleaned. If we control the debate in 2020, get organized, get the vote the fuck out, we control the majority of states, redistricting and only then will the majority of this country gain control from the corporate blowhards creating bogus movements to take control of govnts.
Well, if Eric “Obama’s Inner N****r” Holder is fer it, then I’m again’ it. PURE PROGRESSIVE POWER!
One of the interesting things about the NC leg is that we seem to have a new kind of carpetbagger problem here. Many of the movers on the GOP side are not native North Carolinians, but rather creatures of the great migration into the state, which had an element of selection for asshole attitudes. One of the chief drivers on this voter legislation is a guy named Bob Rucho, who is a Charlotte dentist originally from Massachusetts. The GOP Senate leader came from New York via Virginia and the state House speaker was an IBMer originally from Florida. Closer to home, a lot of the bullshit around Wake County’s school system came from transplants who want to have nice all white suburban schools like they had in NJ without paying any property taxes to support the system as a whole.
Some of these voter restrictions are tone deaf, which may reflect that a lot of these guys are just FOX News creatures funded by guys like Art Pope and the Kochs. They may have been able to play on a lot of their constituents’ latent racism (i.e., cultural neoconfederatism) to gain power, but they don’t necessarily understand the people they represent. For example, early voting is widely popular. The limitations forcing students to vote in their home districts may alienate some non-minority voters. They’ve done similar things with taxes and education, raising sales taxes, cutting education funding and removing teacher tenure. I don’t think it’s wishful thinking that there may be a backlash, but the state Dems need to get their shit together to exploit it. They’ve done an awful job so far, but NC is not Alabama (yet), and there is an opportunity to turn it around.
James E. Powell
I am amazed at the open contempt for the President of the United States that is on display every time McConnell or Boehner step up to a microphone.
I’m not surprised, I’m appalled. And it isn’t just McConnell or Boehner, it’s any Republican or right-wing press/media person. And it’s been there from January 2009 and has never abated. Easy illustration: Obama had barely finished announcing the successful mission against bin Laden when the right-wingers began slamming him for taking credit for it.
They do it because they have to. If Obama’s two terms are understood to be successful, a cornerstone of the contemporary Republican Party, a central part of their narrative of America, will disappear forever. The party won’t survive the loss of the white supremacist argument as the unifying theme of their propaganda.
And they do it because they can. No matter how out of line they get, and “you lie!” was as far out of line as anything I’ve ever seen, their bigoted base voters will not only stay loyal, they will repeat and advance the attacks. Look at how the bigots turned George Zimmerman into a hero for their cause. There is nothing that any Republican can say or do that will cause the bigoted base to abandon them if doing so will inure to Obama’s benefit.
This bigoted base has been estimated at 27%, 35%, and sometimes higher. But the most important thing about these voters is that they are filled with passionate hatred. They will show up every time, for every cause, no matter how trivial or ridiculous. From the elected officials’ standpoint, they know they can count on these people to be there.
Politically, that’s some powerful stuff. And in my lifetime, the Democrats have never had anything like that going for them.
Tone in DC
The Texas legislature’s transparency and overall even-handedness and progressiveness made that filing all but inevitable (Go Wendy!). Hope that legal action succeeds.
Does anyone have any insight into whether or not Democratic voters who neglected to vote in 2010 have learned the lesson from that and are more likely to show up in 2014?
There are all sorts of ways of deliberately creating long lines, which I ran into first hand when I worked the 2004 presidential election. They have just one or two voting machines in a precinct, the others aren’t plugged in (or aren’t there). They have people being intentionally slow checking voters in — one woman actually claimed she didn’t know the alphabet and went through those huge stacks of computer paper with voters’ names in them page by agonizing page. Poll workers can turn people away because they don’t like how they’re dressed for any cockamamie reason.
Voter suppression, it’s what’s for dinner. And lunch … and breakfast ….
Tone in DC
@James E. Powell:
I vaguely remember that line… wasn’t it “Don’t spike the football” or such?
The Democrats (Or Greens, or anyone else) do not WANT such people supporting them. These people are what has made the last 12 years so fucking miserable for so many people; without these refugees from a John Birch meeting, so much of the suffering and wasted lives and money that happened since January 2001 could have been avoided.
Tone in DC
I truly hope you are exaggerating on that.
As for the illiterate example you mentioned, I need to have my phone with me next election, to record (in hi def!) some teabagger wannabe who acts as if they don’t know the damn alphabet.
This shit makes my blood pressure spike.
@James E. Powell: And yet Pat Lang’s blog is still linked here.
Seriously? I mean, I get turning away voters if they’re wearing a t-shirt supporting a candidate or if they are breaking decency laws, but outside of that, WTF?
How’s the hand and arm this morning?
Not quite accurate. You can redistrict as many times as you like after a census, provided that the plans each conform to what the census allocates in terms of districts. Conforming is the only real requirement here. If Dems were to win control of a state in 2014, they could fully reverse any 2010 redistricting plans immediately. That doesn’t happen because those kinds of party swings don’t often take place – usually due to the effectiveness of the first redistricting – but the law doesn’t prevent later redistricting from happening, it merely forces the first one to happen.
CA could have moved from partisan to nonpartisan redistricting at any time – it was just a bit of a fluke that it came up in alignment with the 2010 census, and it would be a good plan for the Dems to put up voter initiatives in as many states as possible in 2014 for non-partisan redistricting commissions to go into effect prior to the 2016 elections.
This reminds me, we keep hearing of big demographic shifts, of people moving into the cities from the suburbs (we’re certainly seeing that in Nashville …) … and the poor, who have been displaced by gentrification, moving to the suburbs. I wonder if this could mess with GOP gerrymandering efforts? Or is it not happening in significant enough numbers to make a difference?
@Hoodie: I just wanted to pick out one thing: the attacks on students as voters. This strikes me as penny wise and pound foolish of the GOP. I mean, I know just how opposed they are to student voters–Maine’s governor has been incredibly upfront about how opposed he is to students voting. And I know that the GOP generally has tried to disenfranchise students for decades. But going after the parent’s tax status is going to royally piss off the parents–some proportion of whom are Republican or independent. It just seems to me that they bumped their level of voter suppression right out of the shadows and into the sunlight–as you suggest they are doing by getting rid of early voting.
I’m also going to guess that early voting people are the least likely to imagine that they see voter fraud everywhere because early voting tends to be calmer than same day voting so if non minorities are availing themselves of early voting shutting thtat down is going to seem less intuitively reasonable to them. People are generally disinclined to think that a thing that benefits them is a bad idea. Here, too, I’m wondering if there will be a potential backlash.
The NAACP is (not surprisingly) all over this and it can’t hurt to call your Congress Critters and tell them you support a law that protects the right to vote and bars restrictions on that right.
Edit: Because waiting for this to play out in the courts isn’t the best idea, neither is it necessary.
@aimai: By picking on student voters, the GOP is not winning the hearts and minds of the next generation, that’s for sure.
@Southern Beale: Having worked the polls as inspector and clerk several times, for presidential elections, I can also tell you that inspectors (here the lowest level) frequently are just not that good at their jobs. In my city, for our sins and our saints, its a job given out to the lame, halt, blind, and elderly. They mean well–boy do they mean well–but they are often both slightly deaf and slightly blind. But the pittance we pay means a lot to them and they have the sitzfleisch to last the brutally long day we have to work. For some reason, perhaps having to do with election law, there are no shifts. You sign on for what is going to be easily a 12 hour day.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Hoodie: Losing the sales tax holiday will get a lot of people up in arms once they figure it out.
@aimai: Seems like nonpartisan redistricting would be the smart thing for Dems in places like NC to push. The layout of the state has lent itself to some egregious gerrymandering, which the GOP maximized to their advantage. The one thing that seems to turn folks here against Republicans is appearance of partisan power hording and corruption; that’s actually part of what killed Dems here. The legislature’s current popularity level seems to reflect that, so the GOP may have the same problem. However, Dems here have a reputation for having done the same thing in the past, leading to a lot of “both sides do it” nonsense. Moreover, the state Dem party is a mess. Dems could combine an effort to end the more obvious vote suppression tactics (shorter early voting, no same day reg, punishing college kids who vote away from home) with a non-partisan redistricting plan, but there seems to be no leadership at the state party level to make that happen. The raw material for backlash is there, but it has to be exploited. Even small gains sufficient to reduce the GOP majorities in the legislature would be a big improvement, as it would allow a Dem governor (there are some popular statewide Dems) to wield some power. McCrory is a joke, a complete empty suit. He makes Walker look like a superstar.
It’s not like the Republicans are going to win Orange County (Chapel Hill) even if they do manage to disenfranchise the gad-dam Tarheels. Obama carried it with over 70 percent of the vote in 2012, and the no vote on the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was higher there than in San Francisco.
That one looks like pure spite.
I put very, very little weight on this story. 2010 was the election we were told by election patterners to expect. EXACTLY that election. CU didn’t give them their victory. 2012 showed pretty clearly how loose the power of flooding the airwaves is. Backlash gave them their victory. It might not have been obvious to liberals, but conservatives saw a black president win big with the ACA, changing the face of the political process, and they went into screaming existential panic and swarmed the polls. I remember this vividly, because I was hoping so hard the electoral patterners were wrong. Nope.
Everything else is just blandly obvious. There’s bound to be a strategist and a money guy working every angle. When they got lucky and got control of those states on a census year, of course they were going to gerrymander like Hell – and of course they’re going to pass every batshit law they can before they lose their grip. This ain’t strategy. Six year olds would do the same.
@Kristin: Yet the good people of North Carolina voted them in. I gather there is no real Democratic opposition in North Carolina since there doesn’t seem to be any legislative push back. In a few years, NC may be as extremely conservative as SC.
If you’re wearing a T-shirt with a campaign slogan or anything that can be construed as a political statement, yeah. We’ve had that happen. You can argue the point but by the time you call in the poll captain and yada yada, you’ve lost your place in line and are potentially threatened with arrest for making a public scene. Oh we had all sorts of stuff like that happen.
One guy turned his t-shirt inside-out and the poll worker STILL wouldn’t let him in.
Hand is slightly better today. But it’s so cool and lovely in Nashville today — unseasonably so — so I went for a run and I think that swelled things back up again.
Davis X. Machina
@James E. Powell:
We’re doing our civic duty when we go to the polls.
They’re fighting a guerrilla war against an occupying enemy.
We’re going to vote for people.
They’re going to stand at Armageddon, to do battle for the Lord.
Until there’s a Democratic crawl-over-broken-glass-to-get-to-the-polls majority — not just some demographic groups, for some elections — the Republic isn’t ever going to be out of danger.
In George “here he comes to the save the day” Zimmerman news: his lawyer says the family he supposedly saved is “too afraid” to be associated with him to thank him publicly. Black people are scary, Zimmerman is oppressed, etc. etc. etc.
@Tone in DC:
I assure you, I am not exaggerating. We had people who were told to GO AWAY because they wore a campaign button. Not, take the button off, but LEAVE and come back in an hour because somehow people will have “forgotten” you wore a button or some such.
No it was a fucking mess and this is Nashville, which is pretty true-blue. I was a precinct captain for a very Democratic precinct and on election day we were just floored at all of the shenanigans they tried to pull in African American neighborhoods. I’m talking, precincts in the heart of the housing projects. Why the hell they would want to fuck with those precincts, I have no idea. It’s not like they were gonna get any votes there in the first place.
It was appalling. That’s why when 2008 rolled around I realized one of the most important things I could do was be a poll watcher. Which I did, for Obama. It was awesome.
@Violet: they don’t expect there to be a next generation, they all expect to be raptured any moment now, so why not dance around the fire and praise Jeebus the Holy Fetii.
Unfortunately it is my expectation that typical low-info voters that are inconvenienced by the implementation of these new restrictions will not necessarily associate their inconvenience with the GOP but instead just the general impression that “the government can’t do anything right, even something as simple as voting.” Democrats therefore get tarred with the same brush to these voters. Hope I’m wrong somehow….
Davis X. Machina
It’s to send a message. If Justin Verlander lets one fly and it goes behind your head, it’s probably not just a pitch that got away from him, and he was only trying to strike you out, sorry!
Chin music. The purpose pitch.
@burnspbesq: I’d say most of it is pure spite. But, then again, most GOP politics is about resentment about imagined injustices against entitled fat ass white guys (speaking as a fat ass white guy).
@Patricia Kayden: Don’t give up the ghost yet. Unlike Alabama and SC, NC has a long streak of progressive government, particularly in education. The GOP success in NC is partially a result of a corrupt and incompetent Dem party leadership. The good old boys who ran the party had serious ethical problems, and the party is in disarray. However, there are some popular statewide figures who could rebuild the party.
@Patricia Kayden: This assessment fundamentally misreads the typical NC voter, who traditionally splits the ticket out of principle. “It’s his turn” rules the voting pattern here as much as anything: this got Perdue elected last time as much as it put McCrory through this time. I don’t see TEA party entrenchment going forward, and I say this knowing full well that the Democratic party is in sad, sad shape.
The idiosyncratic NC electorate cannot be compared with SC, MS, WI or any damn place, really. IMO.
There are still substantial pockets of non-redneck in the state. There’s no South Carolina equivalent of the banking industry in Charlotte and RTP.
Plus North Carolina prided itself on being better than South Carolina. There’s no way North Carolinians would approve of becoming as bad as South Carolina.
The real problem is the lack of leadership in the Democratic Party. Bev Perdue did little to mitigate the Easlwy era scandals and I think there’s such a strong good old boy network in the state Dem party that they just don’t know how to jettison it and rebuild themselves.
I hope that the GOP pays for this at election time.
People have to take note of this and vote accordingly.
huh? what is “legislative push back”? the Democrats don’t have enough members to win votes, so the GOP gets to do what it wants to.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Patricia Kayden: Wake County School Board.
There are days when that is my life raft to cling to.
The assholes didn’t realize what they were setting in motion when their supporters started getting up in the meetings and saying that if the board kept busing those people in to their schools, they just had no reason to support the school. Why work to raise money for computer labs and such if it was just going to be dirtied up by those people.
There’s still enormous butthurt over the backlash.
How are some of the old guard Dems lik Basknight thought of?
@cleek: Bully Pulpit.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@gene108: Marc Basnight is corrupt as hell.
Just not as corrupt as McCrory.
@Mike E: Oh, there’s bully pulpitting going on. It just ain’t getting much coverage.
I very much want someone to just flat out say “Jim Crow”. But no, we’re all too nice.
We did not have the OfA GOTV effort in 2010 that was in place in 2012.
Absent the 2012 ground game, I think the CU money had an impact in 2012 along with voters discouraged by the bad economy.
Right, but they’re lobbyists, not activists.
I thought your concern was them actually harassing people at polling places. I don’t think they’re organized enough to have any real effect on the ground. True The Vote started in 2010 and had a “national convention” with celebrity speakers by 2012. If they were serious about putting people in precincts to challenge minority voters, they’d be organizing that effort (a huge, time-intensive and intensely LOCAL effort) instead of holding “events” and contacting gullible national political reporters who will dutifully report that they’re this huge army, which is what they did.
The people who work on voter protection on the ground don’t hold “media events” or have “conventions.” It’s a waste of time.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
That is sort of the Dems problem. So much of the old Dem machine ran through Basnight (and others who are now thought of as corrupt) that finding folks not hip deep in bed with those guys is not going to be easy.
As is the case in my beautiful but benighted state of AZ (here mostly with potential voters of Mexican descent) the minority population in all these states with Republican legislatures who work to make (or keep) such populations second-class citizens needs to get out to vote in percentages commensurate with all the white folk.
That’s how it works in a representative democracy. You want your interests represented? Get out and vote! If you don’t, chances are interests in opposition to yours will be put in power instead (and will do things like make it harder for you to vote).
Yeah, I know, long lines and a hundred other impediments that the fascists throw up, many of which succeed in a certain amount of disenfranchising for people who want to vote.
But the bottom line (as I’ve certainly seen here in AZ for over 30 years) is that there really is a large pool of indifference out there in the poorer and disadvantaged communities that the fascists target for not just disenfranchisement, but for continued second-class citizen status. Voter registration drives in such communities have been about the most dispiriting political efforts I’ve ever participated in over the years.
I see that as the largest obstacle to replacing Republican dominated legislatures with Democratic ones, much larger than the fascist voter suppression efforts. And I really have no good ideas how to change that.
Roberts=Taney can’t be shouted loud enough IMO
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: How are the Thankful Tuesday demonstrations coming along? I kid of course. Moral Monday is the new gold standard in badassery, and media coverage is expanding across the nation. Our “Jims” can crow about whatever, but they expose themselves as utter frauds each time they try to spin their own bullshit.
Kristin, the conservatives in control of NC’s legislature literally crammed all the voting restrictions into the voter ID bill at the last minute, in a late night session just days before they adjourn. When one of the sponsors was asked why they were added by one of Raleigh’s local news reporters, (I think it was Berger) said “well he had gotten some complaints about the voting process from some concerned voters, so these new rules were added to the voter ID bill to address them”.
That’s what NC’s lawmaking has come to; politicians crafting controversial bills and then lamely justifying them based on anecdotal evidence without any numbers, citations, quotes, or expert testimony. The fact is, there’s no need for a voter ID in NC; neutral investigators have found insignificant amounts of ‘voter fraud’, and the wider concern of registration fraud (where someone registers in two different precincts, or one different from where they live), won’t be solved by an ID anyway.
As for the other restrictions, don’t forget the bill also allows anyone from the same county to challenge someone’s right to vote, and said challenger will remain anonymous. Plus there are now legal volunteer ‘intimidators’ allowed at polling stations to scrutinize the voting process and challenge anyone they suspect of trying to commit fraud. Before only the poll workers were allowed in the voting rooms; now these ‘volunteers’ can roam at will around and make sure no one’s doing anything wrong.
I would be very happy if AG Holder invokes the Voter Rights Act and sends the Federal judges after NC as well as Texas for the same reasons. Our laws are considered some of the most restrictive in the country, after all, and it’s obvious that our legislature acted only because the SC struck down the VRA in the first place. Hell, they admitted it right after the SC decision!
The Moar You Know
@raven: Two threads down, John’s telling everyone he considers “Ted & Hellen” a good friend of his. He’s obviously never getting banned. Pat Lang at least doesn’t write multi-page odes to the joys of children getting raped by a football coach.
Not yet, anyway.
Pat Lang’s link is obviously not going anywhere either, which is a shame. He used to be a somewhat rational conservative, but the Trayvon Martin murder brought out his inner Confederate and he has no interest in stuffing that demon back into the bottle. Too bad. He was a good man once. Now he’s just another two-bit demagogue.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Mike E: Bwahahahahahahahaha!
Yanno, I haven’t heard a peep about those since the first one?
And this just in: the Dept. of Justice gives SCOTUS the middle finger, says it will challenge Texas on voting rights.
@The Moar You Know: @raven: Don’t forget how long it took for Andrew Sullivan to get moved to the mockery column.
@Southern Beale: Good.
And….you’d be wrong. NC has had a Democratic majority in state legislature for the last 80 years or so until 2010 when the Republicans won a narrow majority, and 2012 when they gained a veto-proof majority in both houses. Part of the problem is the Democratic machine in NC; it has had everything its way for so long they were complacent and blind to the anger stirred up among conservatives in 2008 and afterwards. Even in 2012 they were unable to field much in the way of opposition except in isolated areas.
As for legislative pushback, like I said the conservatives have strong majorities in both houses. The Democrats cannot stop anything the conservatives want, and everyone knows it. That’s how the state got gerrymandered after 2010; my House district, for example, now runs from Chapel Hill to east Raleigh and south down to northern Fayetteville. Raleigh itself is now divided into three different House districts when before it was just one; the intent is to so dilute the Democrat vote that Republicans can win majorities in both Congress and state districts, and it worked in 2012. After the redistricting took place, Republicans bragged that “this means Republican dominance for the next 20 years” in NC.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Searched “thankful Tuesday” at N&O: no results found.
Protesters occupied Tillis’s senate office after the voter ID vote though.
Tone in DC
That’s far worse than any voting law that I’ve heard of. In this day and age, that’s saying something. George Orwell is doing a half gainer in his grave, as this behavior is ostensibly “to stop fraud”.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@Bendal: And they are correct. Elections have consequences.
The blind eye that the Democratic party turns towards non-national contests is utterly infuriating. The GOP was shoveling money into everything down to my local school board race in 2012, for God’s sake. Not one dime for anything local from the Dems. That has to change. Has to.
The State of Things on WUNC has been excellent this week.
I’ve heard many reasons for the 2012 election results, but I think the state is far less conservative than this legislature and the pushback will continue to be substantial. (I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I think more than outrage and demonstrations.) Our state senator Mike Woodard issued a facebook invite for all interested to have dinner with him after the Moral Monday, and six people showed up with serious questions and even a couple of binders filled with notes and copies of recent bills.
The meetup is definitely ON, and I’m just checking around with Durham restaurants. People are planning to come from as far west as Greensboro, so if you want to carpool, let me know and I’ll forward.
There isn’t a Moral Monday August 5 so a meeting time of 7 or 7:30 is doable. Looking forward to meeting everybody and talking BJ and NC. I’ve already met Mike from Raleigh at the last Moral Monday and can attest to his pet cred. Sweet and lovely brittany spaniel.
Being a long time election judge anyone that comes into my precinct wearing a button or T-shirt or any kind of paraphernalia is told to leave and come back 2 hours later. Why? because wearing such things is electioneering, and it is against the law, and the easiest, and also effective way to hold someone responsible for such actions is to inconvenience them by making them leave, and come back much later. If you’re politically active enough to be wearing someone’s campaign button or shirt, you should know that advocating for that candidate in a polling place is against the law. If we were to ignore it, and let it slide, why even have the law at all?
I saw Moral Monday is expanding! They had a satellite version. I’m glad. It’s a big state, and not everyone can get to the statehouse and back.
I see the NC meet-up went from 2 people to 10. Not to be cynical, but could the interest have some relationship with the picture that was posted of the last NC meet-up? How many of the new participants are male? Just curious
@Kay: yes! i didn’t listen carefully to the dates, but it’s moving out west and then to the coast. it’s difficult to overstate how successfully these well-organized events have bolstered local enthusiasm.
@moderateindy: hah! tom’s and my clever strategy of grabbing two passers-by to pose as us is working. thinking that my tentacles and tom’s attractively patterned but nonetheless CLEARLY rabbitty fur might be slight deterrents to meetup crowdgathering, we each chose stand-ins — and the emails have been from men and women!
Dang it. Hasen is burying his point in sentences like these.
This stuff’s too important for a confusing portrayal.
@moderateindy: Speaking as a precinct judge and as someone who’s worked at the polls for the last 20 years in North Carolina, up until now voters have been permitted to wear buttons and campaign T-shirts when they go to vote–it’s an issue of free speech. However, immediately after voting, their free speech transforms into campaigning, which is prohibited within the voting enclosure. They are to be asked to step outside–as all voters are to do once they’ve completed voting.