Ladies and Gentlemen, behold the state of North Carolina, where it isn’t enough for the GOP to hold the White House (as of January 20, 2017), the US Senate, US House of Representatives, and both branches of the NC General Assembly. Instead, the vulture NC GOP “leaders” will not stand for people choosing anything but a straight party ticket, all Republican, or course. Ironically, they just “banned the box” for straight party voting. Checking the box meant that with just one box check, one could vote for the governor down to the lowest office on the ballot straight party. Easy as pie. Only judge-ships and the US Presidency had to be voted separately.
But that simplified option disappeared because the GOP “leaders” wanted to create long ballots and thus long lines at the polls. Their rule of thumb: Never, ever try to make voting easier. It’s just one of dozens of vote suppression strategies they developed. Now, of course, they want to have it both ways. You gotta love this: They want to undo the fact that people didn’t straight party vote! Voters had the nerve to prefer Republican Donald Trump AND Democrat Roy Cooper on the same ballot. Honestly, there is no satisfying them unless they can stomp the opposition into the ground.
Then there are the provisional ballots, that malicious construct to make it easier to pitch votes in the trash. But the more the provisional ballots get counted, the more they prove that lawful voters were provisional-balloted wrongly. They should have been given regular ballots all along. They are overwhelmingly Cooper voters, of course. The more this goes on, the larger Cooper’s margin becomes. But still Gov. Pat McCrory (R) persists with his circus making a mockery of the right to vote and of the Tarheel State.
Now Civitas (Art Pope’s organization) wants to throw out 90,000 same-day registrations. And it has gone to court to do that. Why does NC allow same day registration and voting? I’ll tell you why. It is to protect against vote suppressors, like Pat McCrory, who who never met a Democratic voter he didn’t want to peel off the voting rolls via some excuse or other. With same day registration, a purged voter can prove he or she is entitled to vote and get back on the rolls in time. Same day registration and voting are not allowed on the busier main election day. Remember, to register in NC one needs proof of identity; proof of address; and, for married women registering the first time, a marriage certificate. And registrations are checked electronically the same way ordinary registrations are before a person votes.
There is more to vote suppression than ending straight party voting, increasing the use of provisional ballots and stopping same-day registration. Purging is one of the most venomous strategies. Using his bullshit (sorry but there is no other word for it) “computer program,” Crosscheck, Kansas Sec of State Chris Kobach, and a boatload of accomplice Republican governors go after voters. It’s a reverse stewardship in which they try to ruin voters from ever having a voice. The Crosscheck lists really contain lawful voters these guys defame as supposed “illegal voters.” Not surprisingly, most of the names on the Kobach list are names which tend to be associated with African American or Hispanic American voters. They falsely assert that voters are dead, “felons,” not lawfully registered, or “voted twice,” but it isn’t true. None of it. As far as “dead voters” are concerned, McCrory found two dead voters in Wake County. It is not what you think. These poor people voted early and then had the temerity to die after they voted but before the main election day. No vote for them! (Their votes were tossed, which I find wrong.) But there was no voter fraud, at all.
Kobach’s supposed double voters did no such thing. They legitimately moved from one state to another. Registrars in NC are supposed to notify a resident’s previous location that the person is now registered in NC. If they fail to do that, it is possible that an individual’s registration might still be on the books of a previous state. That doesn’t mean the citizen voted twice. In NC, there aren’t any cases of anyone doing that in the 2016 general election or any other election.
The McCrory team continues to pull every tick in the book. It got citizens to file “citizens’” complaints about specific voters. When asked at evidentiary proceedings for the facts, the stooges could answer no relevant facts about the individuals McCrory wanted to disqualify. They were just bogus challenges.
As if the state and the Electoral Boards haven’t been through enough, McCrory today announced he wants a recount. Folks, these are REPUBLICAN-led boards. The party in charge gets the majority on all the electoral boards. And even they dismissed his complaints as groundless. And yet Pat McCrory is trying to suggest to both in-state and out-of-state people that there is a fraudulent vote here.
If there is fraud, it is not voters committing it. There outta be a law. Oh, yeah, there is one. Interfering with a voter’s right to vote is unlawful. Intimidating voters is unlawful. Nevertheless, McCrory was a busy boy today, trying to fix the rules, so he is not *actually* breaking the law. It is so Trumpian. He’s making it up as he goes. Watching the tweets from the hearing today were like being in the Twilight Zone.
The General Assembly has a veto-proof majority, thus rendering Ross Cooper nearly (but not quite) impotent. But STILL Pat McCrory won’t take the voter’s votes for an answer. It’s the “not quite” that gets interesting because there is trouble a Governor Ross Cooper could make. And given his history its usually good trouble. But you see, there is also much more than the governorship at stake. They want to throw out Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan’s victory too. An failing that, the GOP wants to pack the state supreme court with new Republican members to flip the majority to Republican. Then there is controlling redistricting. The courts have ordered it. And the NC GOP cannot help itself. It’s hell-bent on subverting the court order.
It is safe to say, McCrory proves time and again that he’s (along with the goon squad in the GA) the worst thing to happen to NC. In 2017, don’t “North Carolina” Virginia. Please don’t do it. Stay tuned for more tales from the trenches. It is going to be a long slog back. It is uncharted territory dealing with lawless politicians for whom no law, precedent, or constitutional document means anything. Wish us luck.