At this point, I could almost buy controlling stock in a couple companies that make calming blends of tea.
Make sure to check out yesterday's post if you aren't already current; par for the course with the NCGA, they are moving at breakneck speed and it's difficult even for the regularly involved to keep up.
House Democrats introduced the Let North Carolina Vote Act yesterday; NC Policy Watch has a good summary of its provisions. While the bill has a lot of good in it, it's doubtful that the GOP will let it pass. But, according to Graig Meyer (D-Durham, Orange), actually passing the bill isn't why House Democrats are doing it.
“We do not file this bill in anticipation of the Republicans seeing the light. We file this as a way to show this is what Democrats would do..."
Watch the video on Rep. Meyer's Facebook page.
Meanwhile, SB824, the current photo ID measure, has passed the House Elections Committee on a 17-9 party-line vote and is expected to get its first debate on the House floor today. An amendment to require fingerprints for provisional ballots was struck down; an amendment to require a photocopy of one's photo ID in an absentee ballot endured. Gerry Cohen tweets what's wrong with this provision, aside from the fact that it's illegal.
Entwined in the voter ID issue is the drama surrounding the 9th Congressional district election results. In short, the NC Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement– itself ruled unconstitutional; again, see yesterday's post– has refused to certify the election results and Republican candidate Mark Harris' apparent victory, because of allegations of election fraud.
As we stressed yesterday, this is election fraud, not voter fraud. Two people were dispatched (illegally) to a number of houses in Bladen county to pick up (incomplete) absentee ballots. These should have been completed by the voter and mailed directly, but instead, the people collecting ballots gave them directly to Leslie Dowless, who worked for Mark Harris' campaign. Check out Judd Legum's Twitter thread for more detail and photos of the offending ballots. National House Democrats have made it clear that they will refuse to seat Harris until the questions swirling around this election are resolved.
And there you have it: the Republican party, constantly crowing about voter fraud, is itself embroiled in an effort to defraud voters.
The board conducting this investigation, as we know, is technically not legitimate. It will remain intact for now, as Governor Cooper and the NCGA restructure it. But that will not be a simple or short process, as most of you must have guessed. WRAL reports on the first version of a restructuring bill, which is, in my not-at-all professional opinion, a hot mess. Daniel Jacobson says it best:
In other, tangentially related news, the NCBOE is investigating an unusual absentee ballot issue in Robeson county, Bladen's neighbor, on the part of the Democrats. Both counties, according to WFAE, had an usually large number of absentee ballots requested but not mailed back. In Bladen, the requests were made by mostly Republican voters; in Robeson, Democrats. But unlike in Bladen, nobody went door-to-door harvesting ballots on behalf of the Democrats.
From Longleaf Politics: The General Assembly appropriated another $300 million for Hurricane Florence relief, this time with the bulk of it going to help restore the agriculture industry. Gov. Roy Cooper is pushing for another $6.3 billion in federal aid.
In your dose of questionable humor for the day, my alma mater UNC has proposed a solution to the thorny issue of "Silent Sam", a Confederate monument, which has been the center of protests by students and community members, who demand it be removed from UNC's campus. Instead of simply removing it and installing it in another prominent, accessible place as required by law, UNC trustees have proposed a plan to build a lavish $5.3 million new home for the monument on campus grounds. In true UNC fashion, they plan to throw exorbitant amounts of money at a problem and not solve it at all.
From the New York Times, with a telling set of maps in a color I don't particuarly care for: What's stronger than a blue wave? The red levees, thanks to generous bolstering by gerrymandering. I know it's disheartening; it's the reason why several people, according to the NYT, didn't vote. But the Rev. Dr. William Barber, whom I have admired for years, reminds us of the truth:
“The things they’re doing today are not worse than what they did yesterday, and they beat them back then. We’ll beat them again.”
What's that they say about water? That it can wear away the stubbornest stone?