Fayetteville O columnist: GOP missing an opportunity with African-American voters

Fayetteville Observer columnist Myron Pitts says that the North Carolina Republican Party is making a terrible political blunder with its plans to plunge ahead with mandatory voter ID legislation. Pitts says that it’s obvious that the legislation is designed to suppress Black voter turnout:

“But the real reason for the laws is to suppress Democratic votes, in particular votes by lower-income, black and young voters. The laws instead have had the opposite effect: Democrats have rightly painted them as threats to voting rights, and turnout among the targeted groups has increased. In November, in the critical swing state of Ohio, where the GOP made a heavy voter ID push, President Obama boosted his turnout among blacks by 33 percent from 2008, a year when his history-making run had already increased the number to historic levels.”

Pitts goes on to say that the GOP would be be much better served to actually compete for the African-American vote rather than trying to suppress it. After describing a part of the Black business community in Fayetteville he says this:

“But the subject of business is where Republicans can use their natural inclinations – and connection to the national and a number of local chambers of commerce – to attract black voters….

Might not Republicans get a leg up on their Democratic colleagues by reaching out to these important players in the black community, the many small-business owners? The late Jack Kemp, a former vice presidential candidate, is still held up as a model of how Republicans can connect with black voters, and he believed in “enterprise zones” in black neighborhoods that fostered businesses.”

For better or worse, however, this does not appear to be part of the GOP gameplan in 2013. You can read Pitts’ entire column by clicking here.


  1. Frank Burns

    January 14, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Pitts is completely off base. The main driver for this legislation is the concern for non citizens voting, for citizens who vote more than once, and for people voting in dead people’s names. Why would any reasonable person be against fraud prevention? Are they concerned about getting caught?

  2. david esmay

    January 14, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Frank, you lie. It’s not even a thinly veiled one at that. Voter fraud is virtually nonexistent, other than voter suppression, there is no other motivation behind these measures.

  3. Sagey Bear

    January 14, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Frank isn’t lying. Frank truly believes that there is no bigotry behind these legislative measures. Such is the ignorance of White privilege and White angst. If they traveled even a little, this should become evident that it is ignorant and fear based.

  4. Frank Burns

    January 14, 2013 at 10:36 am

    When the left runs out of reasonable arguments, they consistently use their default argument, its a racial thing.

  5. Vicki Boyer

    January 14, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Sorry, Frank. Very serious studies have repeatedly shown that fraud by individual voters is almost non-existent. The Brennen Center found only 25 prosecutable cases a year—one for every other state. The real threat for voter fraud comes from electronic voter machines which are easily hacked or from officials who suddenly ‘find’ votes, as happened in Wisconsin.

    Even during the massive immigration the US experienced in the early 1900s there is little evidence of fraud. It would seem that those who are here without documents do not want to take the chance of calling attention to themselves by committing a felony and voting in our elections.

    The fifth amendment says we are all innocent until proven guilty. Voter ID requirements say we are all guilty until proven innocent. That is un-American. This is driven by the idea wonks in the Republican party. Of every state legislature that has introduced voter ID requirements, all but one has a Republican majority. This is nothing more or less than an attempt to create a situation where only those who will vote Republican have the opportunity to vote. This is a part of government getting to choose their voters, so they can stay in office. This is wrong.

  6. jlp75

    January 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    There are no arguments to be made here Frank. The cat is out of the bag. There have already been GOP operatives who went off script and have confirmed that GOP voting law changes are about voter suppression (look it up I’m not doing your research for you). Ever notice that when more people vote, the GOP loses? In that reality your best bet at winning is to make sure more people don’t vote. Every wonder why 2010 was such a sharp change in direction? Democrats failed to go vote in the election therefore handing our state and the US House to Republicans. So if you are a Republican leader you want an electorate that looks more like 2010 and less like 2008.

  7. Frank Burns

    January 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I will refer you to the Commission on Election Reform, Chaired by former President Carter. You will see in their report, voter fraud is a real threat and merits our attention. Jimmy Carter, not a Republican recommended the use of photo IDs. http://www1.american.edu/ia/cfer/

    Voter IDs say nothing about guilt or innocence, it is just a sensible precaution. Is it un American to show your ID for cashing a check?

  8. Frank Burns

    January 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Sagey Bear,
    I recommend you read the report from the Commission on Election Reform and you will see that your fear and ignorance on the use of photo IDs has no basis.

  9. jlp75

    January 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm


    Cashing a check is not a Constitutional right.

  10. Frank Burns

    January 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    So? They still make me show a photo ID when I cash a check, make purchases, fly on an airplane, and attend the Obama inauguration (no intention of attending). It is prudent to insure that JLP presents a photo ID so that the faux JLP does not vote in your place.

  11. jlp75

    January 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    And after all these years of voting there hasn’t been a faux JLP yet. I wonder how that could actually be true. Perhaps because voter impersonation is all but non existent. As with your first attempt, all of the other additional items you added to your list are in fact NOT Constitutional rights either.

  12. Frank Burns

    January 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    It’s not constitutional that I should eat lunch every day too, and its not in the constitution that I should sign a form when I vote, which I do anyway. So asking the voter to show a photo ID has nothing to do with the constitution.

  13. david esmay

    January 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Here’s a solution Frank, the next time you vote, show them your ID, make a show of it, puff out your chest a little bit. The rest of us will just vote.

  14. Frank Burns

    January 15, 2013 at 10:04 am

    As soon as this sensible law is passed, you too will have the honor of displaying your ID and can puff your chest out as well, but you need to vote the right way.

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