There are some things one needs not be reminded of — corruption, gerrymandering and voter suppression in North Carolina are not those things, according to a Mother Jones article released yesterday.
The magazine examines how the state’s electoral system has been “slowly sliding the rails over the last decade” since 2010, when Republicans won control of the House and Senate chambers.
For months, North Carolina’s political framework has been plagued by scandal—a serious case of voter fraud that rendered an entire election illegitimate; legal battles over gerrymandered maps and voter ID laws; and corruption implicating top GOP officials.
But none of that has come out of the blue.
Andrew Reynolds, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is quoted in the article as describing Republican efforts in the state as a “cancer…at the center of politics in the state.” He is the one who penned the famous op-ed in 2016 declaring that North Carolina was no longer a democracy.
But Reynolds couldn’t have guessed how much worse it could get. “When you add all the stuff that I spoke about, and then they literally steal the election in the North Carolina 9th District, and then [North Carolina GOP chairman] Robin Hayes gets indicted for corruption. It’s like somebody’s making this up!”
As two elections quickly approach—a special congressional election in the fall, and the presidential election after that—the state is being forced into an inflection point. North Carolina is being considered a battleground state for national Democrats who hope to nudge it from purple to blue in 2020. As the state’s urban and suburban areas continue to grow, thanks to growing business and technology opportunities there, some politicos are beginning to wonder if that will be enough to finally tip the scales in future elections. According to a New York Times Magazine story that asked if North Carolina is representative of the future of American politics, seven of the state’s 100 counties have accounted for nearly 40 percent of its voter registration growth. Here are the biggest challenges facing North Carolina’s voting system.
The article delves in to election fraud in the 9th congressional election, the imminent U.S. Supreme Court decision about partisan gerrymandered maps, the new voter ID law and corruption unveiled recently within the state Republican Party.
Nothing they describe in the article is news to North Carolinians, who have been experiencing unconstitutional elections for the past decade. It’s still worth reading to catch up, though. You can find the full article here.