You Can Vote is working with community partners to plan educational forums on new voting requirements and how to communicate these with voters. They launch in Durham on February 23rd and will host a Raleigh forum the following weekend before they move out across the state. The Durham event is on their website already--more to come!
As Kate reported yesterday, the NCGA overrode Gov Cooper's veto of the Voter Photo ID bill, as expected. Minutes later, the first state lawsuit was filed, followed by the NAACP filing a challenge in federal court today. I'd rather have my tax dollars spent on public education, disaster relief, rural broadband, infrastructure, and protecting the environment (among other things) than on defending voter suppression in court, just saying.
One action for TODAY, Friday, Dec 21: Contact your NCGA representative and senator to urge them to support Gov Cooper's expected veto of the NC Board of Elections (BoE) restructure bill/H1029. Although much of the bill is satisfactory, it contains a provision that requires certain political investigations to remain confidential between the newly formed Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission. We need more transparency, not less! Cooper has said he'll sign the bill if that one provision is removed; we've not heard of any willingness at the NCGA to do that, so the veto is expected. Let your legislators know that you support the bill WITHOUT that provision. Read more about this from Stronger NC, NC Policy Watch, and the NC Council of Churches. They will return to Raleigh on Sunday, Dec 23, at 1pm to vote on overriding the governor's veto. It's likely that many legislators will be absent that day, so there's a chance that the Republicans won't have the votes they need. PLEASE CALL, especially if you're represented by Republican legislators.
The technical corrections bill/S469 is also on Cooper's desk, with an action deadline of MN on Sunday, Dec 23. We haven't heard how he's leaning on that, but the NCGA is considering returning on Dec 27, presumably for an override vote if Cooper vetoes it.
NC CD-9, aka Bladen Runner
There are new developments almost every day, a good one-stop source for updates is WSOC-TV's website.
- The state BoE says that Columbus County's new sheriff shouldn't have been sworn in, because there's still a protest pending of election results.
- North Carolina officials sought criminal charges after the 2016 election against McCrae Dowless, the man at the center of absentee ballot fraud allegations, but prosecutors didn't indict him before the now disputed 2018 congressional race, according to documents released by the BoE on Wednesday.
- Dowless indicated in a signed declaration last year that he essentially took cash under the table during the 2014 elections to help Bladen County's current sheriff. WRAL.
- Watch an interview with Gov Cooper about this mess and the BoE bill.
Today is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemispshere. Although winter won't be over for a while, the days will begin to lengthen. It's encouraging that we'll begin to see more light at the NCGA as newly-elected Democrats from across the state join their weary colleagues and break the Republicans' veto-proof majority! Although the Republicans remain in the majority until 2020, they will no longer be able to run roughshod over the wishes of the majority of voters in the state without reaching across the aisle.
Look for a wrap-up post on Monday, Dec 24. Our small team plans to take a break from then until Jan 7, unless there's news we just have to share.