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The folks at Progress NC released new poll results this morning that show North Carolinians overwhelmingly (78%-18%)support early voting. The poll also found a sizable majority (53% – 43%) supports limited Sunday voting as well. 

The new results stand in sharp contrast to new legislation introduced at the General Assembly to shorten early voting, end Sunday voting and do away with same-day registration. The wags at Progress NC have dubbed the new bill (appropriately it would appear) the “Longer Lines to Vote Act.” 

Read the poll results by clicking here.

Supporters of new laws to require North Carolinians to produce a government-issued form of photo identification every time they troop to the polls love to cite public opinion for the proposition that average North Carolinains are all for their idea. You’ve heard their mantra: “Public opinion polls show that large majorities support voter ID. This isn’t even a controversial idea for most people.” One prolific Republican tweeter had this to say earlier this morning:

“Polls consistently show 70% of NC in favor of voter ID. Calling all those people racist? Not brilliant.”

How’s that for preemptive spin manipulation?  People who oppose mandatory photo ID for voting are calling the proponents “racists”??

This is, of course, hogwash.

First of all, Read More

The Supreme Court will consider whether to hear two cases challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act at its private conference on Friday, Nov. 2 – including one filed by the Kinston (NC) Citizens for Non-Partisan Voting, Nix v. Holder. Nix will be considered along with a companion case, Shelby County (AL) v. Holder.

Section 5 of the VRA requires certain states and jurisdictions to get U.S. Department of Justice preclearance of changes to voting practices.

In Nix, Kinston voters who had approved a 2008 referendum for non-partisan local elections are challenging the Justice Department’s refusal to preclear that change, saying that DOJ was using Section 5 in racially divisive ways. The Department had initially refused to preclear the change based upon on 2006 amendments to Section 5  encouraging voting practices that would help minority candidates for office attract white cross-over voters. Though DOJ ultimately allowed the changes, the Kinston voters are continuing their challenge, focusing on the 2006 amendments.

Shelby County involves a challenge to the formula for selecting jurisdictions covered by Section 5’s preclearance procedure, which was extended by the 2006 amendments to 2031. The county contends that the formula is based upon voting data from 35 years ago and that voting turnout and registration rates now approach parity in many of the covered jurisdictions.

A decision on whether the Court will hear the cases is likely late Friday or Monday, Nov. 5.

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.

 

Two nonpartisan good government groups — Common Cause and Demos — are out with a new study today that warns about plans to block ballot access in North Carolina and nine other states. This is from the release accompanying it: 

“Common Cause and Demos have analyzed laws in 10 key states governing voter intimidation and organized efforts to block Americans from voting . The report reviews Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia, summarizing each state’s practices, and providing a set of recommendations for improvement. Read More