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NC advocates call for ‘common sense’ democracy reform

North Carolina advocates called on their elected leaders Friday to pass needed reform to combat corruption and strengthen democracy.

Melissa Price Kromm, Director of North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, La’Meisha Whittington with the N.C. Black Alliance and Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause N.C., gathered on the front lawn of the General Assembly and called for the passage of the For the People Act (HR1) in Congress.

The measure is a comprehensive set of anti-corruption, election security and political reforms that directly respond to the issues raised in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. The U.S. Senate voted yesterday to acquit Trump on articles of impeachment.

“We have to keep fighting at all fronts,” Kromm said. “We are here to say enough is enough; we will fight for democracy; we will save our country, because that’s what true patriots do.”

Whittington said it became very clear during the impeachment trial that the political system is broken. She said that the nation needs to focus on removing barriers that prevents access to the ballot, updating voter systems and securing election infrastructure.

“This act ensures fair maps, automatic voter registration and other common sense democracy reform,” she said.

The advocates also called on North Carolina legislators to pass similar democracy reforms, in addition to ensuring that voters are informed of the money behind elections, strengthening revolving door laws and enacting nonpartisan redistricting reform.

Phillips pointed out that lawmakers are still not discussing redistricting reform, even after being forced by the courts to redraw both the legislative and congressional voting maps because of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.

“If this year comes and goes and nothing is done, the people will notice,” he said. “Until we get [redistricting reform], we’re going to have a lot of problems with our democracy.”

The time to act is now, Phillips added.

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