Thurs, Jan 23, 6:30pm, Chapel Hill Public Library, Denied and Abridged: The Struggle for Voting Rights in NC. Anna Richards (CH-Carrboro NAACP) and Irving Joyner (law professor at NCCU) speaking. Sponsored by Neighbors on Call. Register here.
Before I dive in, the NC Justice Center just released an analysis of what it means that NC does not have a full budget for 2020, No final budget, no accountability. It summarizes the "mini" budgets that passed and where we go from here. Bottom line: "Piecemeal spending decisions largely neglect the needs of communities without wealth and access. Annual budgets provide clarity about state priorities. A piecemeal approach to budgeting fails to provide the certainty that agencies need to be effective, the direction local governments need to plan sustainably, and the opportunity to hold lawmakers accountable to the people they were elected to serve." And make no mistake, the budget failed because Republicans failed to compromise. As Billy Ball puts it in the NC Policy Watch piece, "Rather than face the prospect of horse-trading, Republicans threw all of the horses off a bridge and went home." This is not responsible governance, and the people of NC deserve better.
Speaking of holding lawmakers accountable to the people they were elected to serve... let's start focusing on the 2020 primary on March 3! Today is a kick-off, we'll provide more info over the coming weeks. Have a question right now? Check Vote411.org and the NC State Board of Elections.
Carolina Public Press (CPP) does a great job summarizing important aspects of this election year, here are some excerpts:
- Last year, the state added 273,288 voters, an increase of about 4%. The statewide registration breakdown stands at 37% Democratic, 33% unaffiliated and 30% Republican.
- There's an increasing concentration of voters in urban counties, with Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford and Cumberland counties leading the way in new registrations and showing a higher percentage of Democrats than the statewide average.
- The highest concentration of Republican registrations is among a belt of suburban counties around the fast-growing urban regions.
- The demographic trend seen in 2018 continued as millennial and Generation Z voters, the two youngest cohorts of voters, continued to grow as a percentage of the voting population and continued to show a preference (47%) for registering as unaffiliated.
- The eligible voter pool is increasingly diverse and includes more African American and Hispanic voters.
- In the NC General Assembly (NCGA), Democrats would have to win six more seats in the House and five in the Senate to retake the chambers.
- This year’s battle over control of the state legislature is also attracting a LOT of national attention and money, with both parties planning amped-up campaigns. Sigh, all that wasted money that could be put to good use. We need campaign finance reform & publicly funded elections!
- Check Flip NC's Guide to 2020's most competetive NC House and Senate Districts.
It's not too early to begin to learn about the candidates for state and national office - and there are a LOT of them! I count 15 running for Lieutenant Governor, WHAT?? The League of Women Voters Vote411 site will upload sample ballots and candidate questionnaires soon, but you can see who's running for what (with campaign site links) at Politics1. That site doesn't reach as far as the local level (eg, county commissioners, school boards), which Vote411 will. The N&O (limited free views/month) gives a rundown of who's NOT running in 2020 in key races. If you're obsessed with details - or a glutton for punishment - check out the NC State Board of Elections lists of all NC candidates grouped by office or by county.
It's going to be LONG ballot and we need to spread the word to vote from the BOTTOM UP so crucial local and state races aren't overlooked.
Looking at 2020 from a national perspective, CPP discusses what the vote to impeach the president means for NC politics by looking at each NC Congressional race. The conservative Carolina Journal discusses how NC could tip the national balance in 2020: "In polls of expressed party preference, which is more telling than party registration, North Carolina is among only a handful of states where Republicans and Democrats are roughly tied. Our electoral outcomes aren’t preordained." Tell us about it!
What we can do
- Learn about the candidates and vote in the March 3 primary! Early voting is Feb 13-29. Absentee by mail ballots can be requested now and returned before Feb 25. Vote411
- Remind friends and neighbors about the importance of local and state elections and voting the ENTIRE BALLOT.
- Be vigilant about news sources. NC is being targeted with fake conservative news sites that look "normal" and aren't, share this info with friends and neighbors.
- Check out and share this Democracy NC brochure about ways to protect and support voting in 2020. Attend and share their "What's on the Ballot" trainings across the state. Sign up to be a non-partisan vote protector during early voting and on election day.
- Check out and share the tons of resources from You Can Vote. Attend and share their upcoming voter registration and education events.
Tags: (2020 elections, NCGA, NCPol)
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