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In case you missed it, check out veteran legislative staff attorney Gerry Cohen’s “point of view” piece in this morning’s News & Observer about the ongoing efforts to prevent North Carolina college students from voting. Cohen, who was himself elected to public office in Chapel Hill 40 years ago while a student at UNC,  doesn’t hold back in blasting these efforts as “shameful.”

 

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Take a few minutes this morning to listen to Gov. Pat McCrory, in an interview with WUNC, respond to criticisms about the voter identification law he just signed and other controversial actions coming out of his office and the Republican-led legislature.

The 12-minute interview conducted by Frank Stasio (host of the Triangle-area NPR station’s “The State of Things“) delves into many topics, from recent legislation targeting abortion clinics, the decision to not expand Medicaid in the state and the elections bill signed yesterday and already being challenged in court on allegations of violating voters’ civil rights.

To listen to the interview by “State of Things” host Frank Stasio, click on the audio link on the WUNC news story about the voter ID bill.

In the WUNC interview, McCrory again compared the voter identification bill to measures that require identification to collect public benefits and buy some varieties of over-the-counter cold medicine that’s used to make meth. He used that comparison in the minute and a half Youtube video he put released Monday afternoon for the bill signing in lieu of a press conference.

“Nobody talked about disenfranchising people to buy Sudafed,” McCrory said in the interview with Stasio. “I frankly think our right to vote deserves similar protections.”

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Lunch Links

It’s a brand new week of Lunch Links at N.C. Policy Watch, our recently revived daily feature to help get our readers through the day.

We’ll find out this week if Gov. Pat McCrory will sign or veto 38 pieces of legislation still on his desk, many about the controversies that have brought people to protest in the streets as part of the Moral Monday movement. Click here to see the list of the 38 bills on McCrory’s desk.

As a big fan of databases (and what investigative reporter isn’t?) my inaugural Lunch Links will be dedicated to databases I find useful and entertaining.

  • An oldie but a goodie, the OSHA database (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). You can see if the company you’re thinking of hiring has a history of workplace safety issues, what they were initially fined and if that fine was knocked down.
  • Want to figure out what political party your neighbor is registered under? Or find out if your school board candidate even votes in local elections?
    McCrory's voting history, from N.C. State Board of Elections.

    McCrory’s voting history, from N.C. State Board of Elections.

    The N.C. State Board of Elections has that information here and you can search by name and then pull up that person’s voting history.

A quick peek at Gov. Pat McCrory’s voting records show that he utilized early voting or absentee ballots in the last two years, instead of voting in person on Election Day as he did in years past.

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In case you missed them, two items over on the main NCPW site deserve your attention today.

In todays’ edition of the Fitzsimon File, Chris calls on the governor to do something radical — to actually carefully read the voter suppression bill

Item # 2 is Education Reporter Lindsay Wagner’s new story “Common Core comes uner fire in North Carolina.” Here’s the intro:  Read More

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From Democracy NC’s August 5 link of the day:

“Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to sign the monster anti-voting bill any day now. H-589 began in the state House as a photo ID bill but in the final days of the session, the state Senate rolled out a harsher version of the ID requirement, plus 40+ new provisions, including dozens that had never been discussed in a legislative committee. The new bill raises contribution limits, kills the Stand By Your Ad law, allows secret electioneering spending by outside groups, ends the pre-registration program for teenagers and much more. Democracy North Carolina has a front-and-back handout that describes the provisions of the soon-to-be new law. Most of the provisions become effective on January 1, 2014, except the photo ID requirement takes effect with the 2016 elections. Everyone expects the state NAACP and others to challenge the law in court, and so it shall be.”

Click here to read a two-page summary entitled: “Monster Law: More money, Less Voting.”