Tues, Nov 27, 10:30am, Democracy & Accountability Day of Action, Bicentennial Plaza, Raleigh
Tues, Nov 27, 4pm, meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Elections, open to the public. 1027/1128 Legislative Building, 16 W Jones St, Raleigh
Sun, Dec 2, 3:00pm, League of Women Voters of North Carolina, webinar to discuss results and impact of the 2018 election and review League successes and challenges in 2018 and beyond, open to ALL League members & supporters
The NC General Assembly's (NCGA) Joint Elections Oversight Committee met on November 26 to discuss proposed "implementation language" for the voter ID constitutional amendment that voters supported - what IDs will be accepted, how people will get them, who will pay the costs, when they'll be required, etc. All the details that were missing from what they presented to voters on the ballot.
It was unclear until Nov 23 if they would accept public comments at the meeting, and the comment slots filled quickly when it was announced they would. You can get a sense of the public comments and the meeting itself from the Twitter feeds of journalists Melissa Boughton, Andy Specht, Colin Campbell and former NCGA Counsel Gerry Cohen. Read Boughton's summary of the meeting.
A few "highlights" of the public comments:
- many of the commenters were wearing "VOTER ID" stickers and high-fiving each other, suggesting they were part of an organized group
- require fingerprinting for voters without ID
- require Real ID to vote because we're becoming Manahttan and Real ID proves citizenship (it does NOT do that, nor does a drivers license)
- require Real ID because Muslims are making us celebrate their holidays
- don't allow out-of-state students to vote in NC (this would be illegal as long as they meet 30-day residency requirements)
- passports should not be accepted as ID to vote because "illegals" can get US passports, which is NOT TRUE
- some speakers reportedly referenced immigration, "illegal aliens," the second amendment, and the Walmart returns policy in their comments.
There also were well-reasoned, evidence-based suggestions from people who support the right of every eligible voter to vote without obstacles:
When the meeting adjourned, Chair David Lewis noted that Senator Berger and Representative Moore (NCGA leadership) asked that "the process for moving the bill not be rushed." We'll soon see what they means; certainly NOT delaying it until the newly-elected NCGA convenes in January, which is what would happen if the intention of this charade had anything to do with election integrity. Rep. Lewis said the committee would consider the comments and ideas presented and continue to receive public comments as the bill moves through the House and Senate, though he did not specify how those additional comments would be collected.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY
- Submit personalized comments to the committee using a Democracy NC submission form.
- Call and email Rep. Lewis to let him know you think something this important should be decided by the new legislators just elected by voters and barring that, the requirements should reflect the comments submitted to the committee by Gerry Cohen.
Contacts for State Lawmakers:
- Call and email YOUR NCGA senator and representative with the same message.
- I am a constituent calling from (your town) to urge Sen/Rep (YY) to end the session as soon as possible and delay any attempt to craft voter ID enabling legislation until the regular session in January. The voters have spoken, and while they narrowly supported the voter ID amendment, they also voted for a new state legislature. The current state legislature was elected using unconstitutional maps and should not be making decisions that could affect our state for decades.
- Attend the Tuesday rally and/or the 4pm committee meeting (above) if you can!
Stay tuned and hang in there. THANKS for every call, email, text and tweet you send!