Early voting starts today!! It will run through November 3rd. Find your county's early voting sites and schedules. People can register to vote during early voting, but not on Election Day, Nov 6. Use the link to find out what you need to take with you to register. NO PHOTO ID IS NEEDED TO VOTE! Take your family, friends, co-workers; make it a poll party, post a picture (just not of your ballot)!
Starting off this week's ICYMI with a bang, a three-judge panel ruled yesterday evening that the government board that oversees elections in North Carolina is unconstitutional. Shortly after Gov. Roy Cooper was elected, Republican lawmakers restructured the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. The judges ruled that provisions of a state law restructuring the State Board and county boards of elections violates the separation of powers clause in the Constitution by diminishing the Governor’s control over the agency.
If that sounds familiar, it is. There is an amendment on your ballot to restructure the board again, this time removing the ninth unaffiliated member.
Over the course of the week, more and more leaders, from all points on the political spectrum, have voiced their opposition to one or more constitutional amendments. Even, to my great surprise, some prominent Republican leaders. But once it came out that Americans For Prosperity– one of the most prominent political groups in the country and one begun by the Koch brothers– launched a six-figure campaign against judicial appointment amendment, it all became clear. They heard their master's call.
As the national political scene goes, so goes the state. The NC Supreme Court is in the news via a Brennan Center paper focusing on the increasingly shady process of judicial elections. Pointing out North Carolina's courts specifically, the Brennan Center reports:
“At a time when the broken process for confirming justices to the U.S. Supreme Court is in sharp focus, safeguarding state courts from inappropriate political pressure should be urgent business,” said Alicia Bannon, author of the report and deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program.“State judicial elections used to be subdued affairs. No more. They are now awash in outside cash, dark money, and special interests that threaten the independence of the judiciary. It’s time to do away with supreme court elections and move toward a more independent, more accountable process.”
I've said before to others that what the NC GOP's supermajority is doing to North Carolina politics– and our future– is both canary in the coal mine and ideal scenario writ small for the national GOP. As the state-level political scene goes, so goes the nation. Mary Curtis has something similar to say, and reminds us that because of this, the effects that ripple from the results of the midterms will be much wider than we think they will.
The NCGA voted on Monday to fund Hurricane Florence relief by a further $850 million, but how they'll actually decide to spend it is still up in the air.
Most of North Carolina has a favorable opinion on requiring a photo ID to vote, since there is logic in requiring a photo ID for things from getting a bank account to test driving a car. But what most people aren't thinking about is situations like Janice's. But I can assure you, the NC GOP is thinking about exactly those people, which is why it's so critical, at risk of beating a dead horse, to vote against the photo ID amendment, as well as the other five.
On the, ahem, lighter side, it seems Speaker Tim Moore has himself in a bit of trouble with the State Bureau of Investigation. As insidious as all this is, it's a good sign that all of this has prompted review and reform.
On behalf of Stamp NC Blue, Sasha would like to thank you for voting and contributing to the blue wave!