Let's start with good news (for the moment, anyway): Thomas Farr's nomination for NC's Eastern Judicial District has been blocked by Sen. Tim Scott's statement of opposition. I say for the moment because we know another Republican will take the seat eventually, but we can hope it will be a more moderate person than Mr. Farr.
Now to the NCGA... Here's a nutshell summary of the day. As expected, the NC Senate passed a bill implementing voter photo ID today, without debate, 30-10. Democratic Senators Don Davis and Joel Ford joined the Republicans in support. The House will consider it early next week; their schedule isn't posted yet.
It's not too late to CONTACT YOUR NC HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE AND REPRESENTATIVE MOORE! Stronger NC posted a good list of questions and concerns that you can choose from or stick with the basic messages that this crucial process is rushed, the implementation timeline of <five months is unrealistic for public education and will interfere with the fair conduct of 2019 municipal elections, and counties don't have the time or funding to adequately prepare. Plus:
- The NC Budget and Tax Center estimates it will cost taxpayers at least $12 million dollars to implement this bill to address a problem that doesn't exist. The NCGA itself hasn't come up with a cost estimate.
- This bill does nothing to address updating systems for voter roll maintenance, which would go a long way to ensuring election integrity.
- It does nothing to address absentee ballot fraud, which is a larger problem than in-person voter impersonation (see the bullet below re: 9th Congressional District).
It's OK to call or email more than once with different points. We can't make this go away, but we can continue to use calls, tweets, and emails to pressure the NCGA to do everything possible to make a voter photo ID process simple, easy, and accessible to every eligible voter.
In other NC-related news:
- The NC Senate and House unanimously passed another hurricane relief bill, it heads to the governor.
- The current nine-member Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement will revert to its former five-member structure on Monday. County Boards of Elections also will return to their three-member structure. Expect to see Republicans try for the sixth time next week to restructure this board; previous attempts have been ruled unconstitional by the courts. Late update: Carolina Journal.
- The current state Board of Elections (about to expire, see above) unanimously refused to certify the race for the 9th US Congressional District and launched an investigation into possible irregularities. This was a close race, with Democrat Dan McCready losing to ultra-conservative Mark Harris by 905 votes. Sounds like a complex and confusing situation, read more about it: Old North State Politics, Washington Post, and WFAE. The currently constituted Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement will meet for the last time today/Friday. Very unclear how this will proceed. Late update: WRAL.
- The NC House announced it intends to finish votes by next Wednesday and be available for veto overrides the week after. We'll see...
We'll continue with daily posts while the NCGA is in session, so check back on Monday. Have a great weekend!