image credit: Democracy NC
There's been a lot of election-related news in NC recently, Kate covered much of it in yesterday's post. A few highlights:
- More student and employee IDs can be used as voter IDs in 2020. Gov Cooper signed H646 into law on June 3. NO ID IS NEEDED TO VOTE IN 2019 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS!
- Wake County voters are closer to getting more fair legislative districts, WRAL.
- People at the heart of NC's illegal gerrymandering finally could face consequences for their actions, NYT.
- On the down side, about a third of NC's registered voters continue to use electronic/touchscreen machines, despite a 2013 law requiring all counties to switch to devices that leave a paper trail to help ensure election security and integrity. Officials in affected counties - including Mecklenburg, the state's biggest - still don't know what machines they might be allowed to buy or what the cost will be. It's unclear whether these counties will be able to meet the Dec. 2019 deadline to have new machines tested and in place by the March 2020 presidential primary.
The non-partisan voting rights advocacy organization, Democracy NC, just launched a new campaign, For the People, and YOU CAN HELP! There are five key proposals:
- Restore the very popular final Saturday of early voting that Republicans took away in 2018 and restore county control over their early voting site hours, which Republicans required to be 7am-7pm statewide. This places a financial and logistic burden on more rural and smaller counties that until 2018 determined their early voting schedules based on the needs of their communities. H893 would reverse those 2018 changes. Act now, it's fast and easy!
- Pass the Gold Standard Citizen's Redistricting Commission, S 673 to create a citizen-led, independent redistricting commission to reduce the effect of partisan politics and give every voter a more equal voice. Act now.
- Remove severe penalties for felons completing their probation in the community who mistakenly vote before they are legally eligible because they misunderstood or were misinformed about the law - as happened to 12 people in Alamance County in 2016. H 819 would remove the possibility of people serving felony sentences being charged with a second felony simply because they misunderstand the law, allowing justice-involved North Carolinians to vote without fear. Act now.
- Two bills would expand access to online and automatic voter registration: H 574, Fix Our Democracy and H 589, Let NC Vote. Contact your NC legislators to encourage them to support consideration of these bills during this session.
- H 700, Digital Campaign Finance Disclosure Changes, "would help modernize N.C.’s political disclosure laws which currently omit references to digital ads, a major oversight at a time when foreign agents are actively using digital communications to undermine our nation’s democracy." Contact your NC legislators to encourage them to support consideration of this bill during this session.
Download a summary of the federal "For the People Act" and Democracy NC's "For the People" Agenda to share with your community. Consider supporting Democracy NC's work with a donation of volunteer time or money - they've worked for more than 25 years on behalf of NC voters, challenging powerful industries and politicians of both parties.
Tags: (Voting Rights, Democracy NC, NCGA, NCPol, 2020 elections)
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