Calling state GOP voting changes what they are: a power grab

If you’re looking for a quick read capturing the lay-of-the-land of the state’s new voting law changes, see this morning’s Atlantic Wire:

. . . No state’s action has been more dramatic than North Carolina’s, whose legislature last week passed what election-law experts have characterized as the most draconian and restrictive registration and voting law in the country.

“It’s just an audacious attempt on the part of Republicans to suppress the vote, it’s just about as blatant as you can imagine,” says Rep. David Price, a Democrat who represents the state’s Research Triangle area, which includes Duke and the University of North Carolina. “You do wonder how they felt they could get away with it.”

The North Carolina law is a grab bag of bad ideas. It not only institutes a government-issued photo-ID requirement for voting, similar to the Texas law, but also eliminates same-day voter registration and requires voters to register or update their address at least 25 days ahead of the election; reduces the early voting period by a week; abolishes a program to register high-school students in advance of their 18th birthdays; empowers partisan poll watchers with greater authority to challenge voters; and eliminates out-of-precinct voting. The law also weakens candidate disclosure and fundraising rules, thereby allowing unlimited corporate donations and abolishing the requirement that candidates endorse their own television ads.

“I’ve never seen a bill like North Carolina that makes it harder to register and vote – it’s very brazen,” says Richard Hasen, an election-law specialist and professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine. Hasen believes the law is so bad there will be a judicial and public backlash to overturn it and possibly the GOP legislature which passed it. “This will be seen as an overreach .… It’s going to be challenged and some of its provisions will be struck down,” he predicted.

Even the state’s Libertarian Party is outraged, aptly summing up what’s been done in this statement:

“Republicans claim to be the party of limited government. Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.”


  1. Doug

    August 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I do have to agree. That is what happens when there is a shift in power. For 100+ years for example the democrat party had the power and thus gerrymandered their own districts and set up overly liberal voting “requirements” that favor the cheating by their clientele, all while ignoring the protests of other political parties. Shift to 2012, the Republicans now have the power and draw their own favorable districts and tear down the overly liberal voting schemes to help solidify ethical elections, all while ignoring the protests of other political parties. Politics are exactly the same no matter what time you are in. You can go back to the founding of this Republic and find the exact same things happening….but now all of a sudden you guys are calling for non-partisan reforms and such. Enjoy that task….then ignore it as you used to do a few years ago.

  2. Jack

    August 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    You and others of your persuasion keep saying that there was all this cheating but not one ounce of evidence has ever been presented. If you want to be taken seriously on this issue and others present the evidence of cheating and I’m sure the GOP would love to have it to be able to make the case.

    Otherwise let’s move on.

  3. Doug

    August 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I have presented the evidence in comparison to the current state several times. If there is suppression/cheating/disenfranchisement/power grabbing now it is in exact proportion to what had been done in the past. I agree we need to drop the subject as what is happening now is far from unique. If this web site will drop the subject, I will gladly stop commenting.

    Now if your post refers to the VIVA law. Of course there is no evidence of cheating…you are presenting a circular argument because there is no control to establish the veracity if there is or is not cheating. You have just as much proof that there is no cheating as I have that there is cheating since there had not been a way to prove either of our theories.

  4. Jack

    August 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Two things Doug, you live in the past and are using it as a way to excuse the behavior of the GOP. Sounds like the grade school tactic of “They did it first,” at work here. The other thing is that your global statements do wear thin. Generalities make for poor conversation.

  5. Doug

    August 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I am actually the one living in the present and accepting the “behavior”. If the democrats get power again, I assume you will be up at the NCGA asking them to draw districts that will allow the R’s to have a good chance of getting into power. Whether it is the past, present, or future all politics will be played the same…those in power want to solidify their status….those who lost want to find a way back into power. Call it grade school or what you like but it is the way of the political beast.

    As far as global statements and generalities….that can be your straw man all you like but the fact you guys have no answers for “global” facts speaks volumes.

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