Today’s Winston-Salem Journal makes clear one again what advocates for open government have been saying for a long time: state lawmakers ought to be allowed behind absurd claims of privacy and immunity when it comes to the records of their communications as they went about the business of passing the nation’s most restrictive voting law. As the new editorial aptly notes:
“It’s bad enough that our politicians choose their own voters through their redistricting monopoly, but last year the General Assembly passed a so-called ‘voter identification’ bill that will clearly suppress who among us even gets to vote.
After they were sued, legislative heavyweights argued in court that they should not be required to turn over public records related to that legislation because they have legislative immunity….
The North Carolina law has been called the most restrictive in the nation, but it follows a pattern of laws passed in other Republican-controlled states where outside forces pushed voting restrictions. National consultants provided model voter suppression bills for Republican legislatures nationwide.
The plaintiffs want to see what the national consultants told North Carolina lawmakers and what our own legislators told each other. Did they pass the law’s many vote-suppressing measures with an articulated aim of reducing turnout among traditionally Democratic voting groups?
The public should want to know that, too.”
Read the rest of the editorial by clicking here.