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Editorial: GOP lawmakers should not be allowed to hide communications regarding voter suppression law

Voter-ID-signToday’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.

15 Comments

  1. ML

    April 2, 2014 at 9:12 am

    It’s disturbing how many of our new laws were not written by the men and women we elect but their donors.

  2. ML

    April 2, 2014 at 9:13 am

    It’s disturbing how many of our new laws were not written by the men and women we elect but their donors.

  3. Jim Wiseman

    April 2, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Tell me again why presenting an ID to vote (as is neccessary for seemingly everything else) is so hard? Who doesn’t have (or can’t easily get) an ID? Sounds like the attitude is that some people can’t conduct their own affairs and have to be guided by self-appointed guardians.

    If voter ID is such a travesty, it would seem there would be an effort to make sure enough voters get IDs and vote out those who passed the law instead of trying to swim upstream.

  4. ML

    April 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

    It’s not about the id. It’s about everything else in the massive bill plus the voter id.

  5. Alan

    April 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Jim,

    The voter ID was one of 16-17 measures designed to make it harder to vote. Many Democrats don’t have an issue with the premise of an ID to cast their vote, it’s the balance, and the totality, of the voter supression measures that’s of most concern.

    If the state GOP have nothing to hide, and it’s all about ending “voter fraud”, then they should be happy to share with us all the communications that took place. They are elected officials after all.

  6. Jim Wiseman

    April 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I don’t disagree that communications sibject to public records law should be shared.

    What other measure make it “harder to vote?”

  7. Alan

    April 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Anything that restricts, hinders, deters, or simply makes it more difficult to vote is by definition voter supression. In addition to the photo ID, the balance of the supression tactics is blatantly designed to hinder the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and the young from voting. Of particular distain to me is the increase in “poll watchers” designed to intimidate and deter people from voting. It has NOTHING to do with the myth of “voter fraud”.

    *shortens early voting by 1 week,
    *eliminates same day registration and provisional voting if at wrong precinct,
    *prevents counties from offering voting on last Saturday before the election beyond 1 pm,
    *prevents counties from extending poll hours by one hour on election day in extraordinary circumstances (like lengthy lines),
    *eliminates state supported voter registration drives and preregistration for 16/17 year olds,
    *repeals voter owned judicial elections and straight party voting,
    *increases number of people who can challenge voters inside the precinct, and
    *purges voter rolls more often.

  8. Jim Wiseman

    April 2, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    So everyone voting on the first Tuesday in November back in the day resulted in years of voter suppression? Even shortening the early voting period till sounds pretty convenient to me.

  9. Alan

    April 2, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    If the intent of the changes were to make it easier for all to vote, I wouldn’t have an issue with it. However, the intent of the changes are pretty obvious, make it more difficult to vote, especially for Democratic leaning groups. If any legislation should have been pushed, it should have made it easier for all to vote, and encourage a greater participation in the democratic process, vs. the total apathy we have today. However, the GOP rely on low turnout and (Democratic voter) apathy to hold on to power, particularly true in mid-term elections. Had the state GOP pushed for easier, and greater voter participation, they would never be elected. It’s hardly rocket-science…

  10. LayintheSmakDown

    April 2, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Not voter suppression….voter fraud protection: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/04/02/massive-voter-fraud-discovered-in-north-carolinas-2012-election/

    35,000 people voting in NC and other states is MASSIVE!

  11. Jim Wiseman

    April 3, 2014 at 8:07 am

  12. Jim Wiseman

    April 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Over 35, 000 NC voters in 2012 registered to vote in other states.

  13. Alan

    April 3, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Every single one of these people were Republicans, what did you expect?

  14. LayintheSmakDown

    April 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Yeah I am sure they were ALL Republicans. There are no instances of democrat fraud I am sure….just like there was never any corruption by NC democrats in the past…..maybe if you repeat it often enough someone will believe you Alan the intern.

  15. Jim_Teacher

    April 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    So is anyone really, after all this NSA scandal, going to tell me with a straight face, that we can’t simple register every eligible voter once – and going forward at birth – and then get on with it? The voter registration process is where suppression starts.