Voter suppression bill an invitation vigilante elections?

The list of horribles in the General Assembly’s new voter suppression bill is a long one. As ACLU of North Carolina Legislative Director Sarah Preston remarked last night:

“H.B. 589 attacks democracy at its core as it is clearly designed to make it more difficult for thousands of eligible voters to register and cast a ballot. Many of these restrictions, such as eliminating pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds and disallowing use of college IDs at the polls, will severely discourage young people from participating in elections.  Others, such as shortening early voting and making it more difficult to set up satellite polling stations, will be extremely burdensome for elderly and disabled voters who rely on such methods to cast their votes. In a session marked by attacks on North Carolinians’ most basic liberties, H.B. 589 is one of the most shameful and severe. We urge the House to protect ballot access for all by rejecting this bill.”

One especially awful provision, however, that has not gotten as much attention as it deserves is the one that dramatically expands citizen challenges to voters. Current law requires challengers to live in the same precinct as the voter they are challenging. The new law (see page 35 of the proposed legislation) loosens it to the same county. As multiple nonpartisan good government experts have noted, this change is an extremely worrisome invitation to intimidation, conflict and even violence at North Carolina polling places.

Essentially, the new law invites self-appointed, partisan  election “observers” (who presumably could be armed with concealed weapons) to invade precincts in neighborhoods in which they would like to depress turnout and commence mass challenges to the validity of the identification cards displayed by voters. And don’t think some of the groups behind the legislation aren’t already contemplating such actions.  

In other words, North Carolina’s ongoing transformation into a banana republic continues unabated. God help the Old North State. 



  1. Doug

    July 25, 2013 at 9:57 am

    It is a bit worrisome, especially since I agree with Rob!. I see the democrats extending their suppression techniques markedly now that the reigns are loosened. The NAACP and Soros groups will certainly send out more thugs to attempt intimidation. I really don’t see how this got put in the bill since it will not help the curent politicians.

  2. RJ

    July 25, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Let me guess, Doug. New Black Panthers and ACORN, amirite?

  3. watt jones

    July 25, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Doug, instead of strong armed blabber, provide some proof that its only Democrats who engage im such tactics. If you check with the NC Board of Elections, quite a few past intimidation complaints/violations were Republicans. Put up or shut up!

  4. HI McDonough

    July 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Does Art Pope pay you per post or do get a flat monthly payment?

  5. ML

    July 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Who cares if Doug thinks it’s dems that want to intimidate voters, let him be wrong as long he agrees theses provisions are bad. He’d only be hurting his pals who want to legalize their attempts to suppress democratic voting.

  6. Doug

    July 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    I do this gratis. It is fun to see you guys go into hysterics and call names. EVEN DELETE MY COMMENTS —ADMIN i SEE YOU DID THAT.. You guys are so easy to troll, and rarely have an answer of reason and logic. Now RJ you are probably one of the better on the site…but some people here. WOW!

    I did not think of those guys specifically as we are not as urban, but that is not out of the question.

    It is not up to me to provide proof, I never said only democrats. If you have your own allegations and want to share proof have at it. I just know that dead people, the mentally disabled, and bussing voters to multiple precincts are core democrat strategies.

  7. Doug

    July 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Just to be clear, I said worrying not bad or good at this point. Overall the voter integrity bill is one of the best things to come out of the NCGA in decades. And that is saying a lot with as good as it has been the past couple of years.

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