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Bob Hall, Executive Director, Democracy North Carolina, released the following statement this afternoon on the Senate’s new voter ID bill:

“The state Senate released its version of H-589, the photo ID requirement bill today. A comparison of some features with the House version is below.

The Senate bill takes a double swipe at college students, making it harder for them to vote. It refuses to accept student IDs from any college; the House at least accepts those from the UNC and community college systems. And it restricts the use of an out-of-state driver’s license to 90 days from the day of becoming a NC registered voter; the House accepts the out-of-state driver’s licenses as a legitimate government-issued photo ID. These are unnecessary, mean-spirited changes that target and punish college students who want to participate in the civic life of their college community.

The Senate version keeps a House provision that will make the NC law one of the most restrictive in the nation – harsher than the ones in Florida, Idaho, Michigan and several other states with a photo ID requirement. Read More

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Moral MondaysNext Monday June 3 is expected to be the largest iteration yet of the “Moral Monday” protests taking place at the General Assembly.  The events, which have been spearheaded by the North Carolina NAACP, have resulted in dozens of average citizens committing acts of peaceful civil disobedience.  

In recent days, however, NAACP, Democracy North Carolina and other progressive groups have launched a new grassroots effort that will bring the same spirit of protest and resolve to communities around the state. They’re calling it the “Forward Together” movement  and, to date, 25 events have already been organized. Three took place last night in Raleigh, Wilson and Rocky Mount.

Here is the schedule for the next two weeks: Read More

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New from the League of Women Voters and Democracy NC:

Super Majority Supports Giving Voters a Non-Photo Option And Opposes Restrictions that Target Particular Groups

RALEIGH – A survey by one of the nation’s most respected polling firms adds new insights into how North Carolinians view a proposed requirement for voters to show a government-issued photo identification document before voting.

The poll by SurveyUSA indicates that 75 percent of voters favor a photo ID requirement, but 70 percent would not turn away a registered voter who doesn’t have one, if the voter signs an affidavit and provides a verifiable ID number such as a date of birth or social security number.

The current version of House Bill 589 does not include this back-up option. The bill allows voters without a photo ID to cast a provisional ballot, but the ballot will not count unless the voter returns after Election Day and shows officials a government photo ID.

The poll indicates a strong majority of voters also oppose voting restrictions that are aimed at a particular party or group Read More

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As the good people at Democracy NC point out in the lengthy statement below, the new controversey over an alleged racketeer with big campaign finance connections to North Carolina’s political power structure raises some important and disturbing questions:

Sweepstakes Gambling Operator is Top Donor to NC Legislators; Donations with Ties to McCrory’s Law Firm Raise Questions

The man at the center of a national gambling scandal that caused Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll of Florida to resign last week played a surprisingly large – and mysterious – role in financing North Carolina politicians in 2012, according to new research by the election reform group Democracy North Carolina: Read More

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Just in from one of the state’s leading pro-democracy advocates, Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina:

“Today, the NC Republican House leadership announced a process to hear comments from the public and move toward adoption of legislation that would require voters to show a photo ID before voting, if they vote in person. Legislators say that the bill will also include new requirements for mail-in absentee voters.

We appreciate the genuine invitation from Rep. David Lewis and Speaker Thom Tillis for groups that oppose the photo ID requirement to participate in the process. We share their stated commitment to provide a voting system that is secure, fair, and accessible. Election Day is the one time when we are equals. We can not tolerate political manipulation or election fraud that gives some voters an advantage and turns others into second-class citizens. Read More