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Arguing that it essential for the protection of the justice system as a whole and the principle of equal justice under the law, a group of nonpartisan North Carolina civil rights groups filed papers with the Supreme Court today calling on Justice Paul Newby to recuse himself in the legislative redistricting case currently before the court.

According to Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP:

“If justice and fairness are to prevail, the integrity of the court’s justices and the proceedings cannot be influenced by money or have even the appearance of being sold to the highest bidder. Whenever this possibility arises, we must call on the court to examine itself and if necessary recuse any justice or judge whose ability to rule fairly has been tempted or tampered with.”

Barber, Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina and Melvin Montford of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (pictured at left) spoke outside the Supreme Court after the papers were filed.

For more details on the request of the advocacy groups and their arguments, check out Sharon McCloskey’s article by clicking here.  You can read Barber’s entire statement by clicking here.

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From the good people at Democracy North Carolina:

Operators of the national Election Protection hotline — (866-OUR-VOTE) ; Spanish, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682); Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai, 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-274-8683) — say they received over 600 calls fromNorth Carolina voters during the Early Voting period on a wide range of issues, including discriminatory treatment of curbside voters, confusion over ID requirements, illegal electioneering at the polls, broken machines, and false information about voting by phone.

“We could feel the emotional intensity of this election as we answered these calls,” said Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, a nonpartisan election watchdog organization that operated the hotline call center during the Early Voting period. “People were anxious to vote and suspicious of perceived barriers. There were many cases where we helped voters overcome problems in order to vote, including mistakes by poll workers that higher level officials eventually fixed.” Read More

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The Winston-Salem Journal has published an excellent column by good government advocate Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina that is worth sharing far and wide in the coming days:

“Maybe you’re heard the rumor that you can’t vote if you have an outstanding traffic ticket. Or you must re-register to vote if you skip an election. Or your ballot will be rejected if you mark the straight-party option but don’t mark your choice for president first.

These claims are all false.

As an independent watchdog group, Democracy North Carolina tracks all sorts of misinformation. Voters should learn about the candidates, but it’s also valuable to know your basic voting rights so you won’t be intimidated or discouraged by the next rumor that seems a little scary.

Here’s a list of 20 tips that we’ve verified with the State Board of Elections:”

Read all 20 by clicking here.

 

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With this morning’s encouraging decision by a Pennsylvania judge to block the state’s repressive mandatory voter ID law, there has been a string of decisions and actions in this area that can be tough to keep track of. Fortunately, the good folks at the nonprofit news site Pro Publica have a story (“Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws”) that they’re keeping updated regularly.

For more information on efforts to impose such a law (and other unwarranted restrictions on voting) in North Carolina, visit the “Voting and Elections” section of the website of the government reform group Democracy North Carolina.

 

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This is just in from the good people at Democracy North Carolina:

Legislative Leaders Are Setting Record for Fundraising from Special Interests; Speaker’s Solicitation Called “Shakedown

Despite efforts to reduce the influence of lobbyists and special interests in political fundraising, the top leaders of the NC General Assembly are on pace to break two records, according to a review of disclosure reports by the watchdog group Democracy North Carolina:

(1) they are raising more money from special-interest political action committees (PACs) than any of their predecessors, and

(2) they are relying more heavily on PACs to reach and exceed the large fundraising totals of past legislative leaders – in the range of $1 million and beyond. Read More