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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

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Adam Sotak of Democracy NC and Rob Richie of FairVote have a compelling op-ed that’s been running in multiple places around the state. The piece explains:

a) Why North Carolina needs to ditch its lame primary runoff system (a system that, once again, turned out only a tiny fragment of the electorate yesterday), and b) What it would take to make instant runoff voting work better than past experiments. It’s definitely worth a read. Here’s an excerpt:

“North Carolina has had several IRV elections, and three exit polls show voters overwhelmingly preferred it to returning to the polls for a runoff. Unfortunately, the state’s voting equipment currently requires “workarounds” that delay the count. Once North Carolina has optical scan equipment like others have, it would have an IRV tally to share on election night along with other results.

IRV has several advantages: Read More

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New from the good people at Democracy NC:

For Release: Wednesday, May 2, 2012  – Contact: Bob Hall, 919-489-1931

“Voter Confusion Index” Ranks NC Counties, Hotline & Website Set Up to Help Voters

A new analysis of voting precincts shows that Cumberland, Wayne, Durham, Pitt, and Pasquotank are the five counties with the most complex changes to their state legislative and Congressional districts lines – changes that can create confusion for voters and possibly lead to people receiving the wrong ballot at the polls.

[See data for 100 counties at: http://www.democracy-nc.org/downloads/CountyPrecinctConfusion.xls] Read More

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In case you missed it, the good folks at Democracy North Carolina have put together an excellent, half-page educational flyer that folks should copy and spread far and wide in the days ahead.

One side gives useful information about how to review your own ballot, find your polling place, and report election problems. The other side discusses Amendment One.

They have a large quantity of copies for order or you can copy and distribute yourself from the link above.

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One of the more interesting developments in state political world last week was the news that right-wing groups behind the big media buy that attacked Governor Perdue and misleadingly defended the reactionary, teacher-slashing 2012 state budget need to disclose who paid for the ad campaign. Good government watchdog Bob Hall of Democracy NC has called the matter to the attention of the State Board of Elections. A review of the law makes it clear that Hall is right.

The dispute centers on whether Governor Perdue — a target of the ads — meets the definition of “candidate.” Here is the relevant statutory provision: Read More