MSNBC has led the media pack with almost nightly stories of voter laws gone awry and students who have voted before being told they can no longer vote where they go to college. Rachel Maddow has excelled at getting this story before her viewers.
The latest rap sheet for NC towns stems from the takeover in January of the State and local Boards of Elections by GOP appointees determined to keep NC Red in coming elections. The new elections laws, under the "VIVA" bill, added to the Boards' powers.
The first local Board to make national news was Watauga County, home to Appalachian State University, a large state supported institution. The first meeting of its Board of Election was reported on Saturday on Daily Kos here. As a fellow reader commented on the Watauga fiasco, this is more unreal than the so-called reality shows.
Rachel Maddow did a great piece on a student from Elizabeth City State University, who is being challenged as a voter by his local Board of Elections Chair. He wants to run for Mayor. The BOE says he can't because he is registered to vote using his ECSU mailing address.
Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, today two major daily papers, The Winston-Salem Journal and the Raleigh News and Observer, are reporting on another similar incident in Winston-Salem involving the traditionally black school, Winston-Salem State University.
According to the News and Observer, The newly appointed Republican head of the Forsyth County Board of Elections says he plans to eliminate an early voting site at Winston-Salem State University..
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that elections chairman Ken Raymond will move at a meeting Tuesday to shut down the voting site at the historically black college
As the N&O says, "Forsyth is the latest county making it harder for students to cast a ballot, a trend voting rights advocates worry could signal a statewide effort by GOP-controlled elections boards to discourage turnout among young voters considered more likely to support Democrats."
This is more than just a trend. This is evidence that the new appointees to the state's Boards of Elections, all of which have Republican majorities by statute, blatantly plan to use their positions not to encourage voting and enforce the elections laws, but to carry out a concerted effort to prevent college students, particularly black and other minority students, from voting.
Sen. Kay Hagan has already called on Attorney General Holder to intervene in North Carolina to enforce voting rights laws. It appears the intervention by the Dept. of Justice is need sooner, rather than later.
Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 8:17 PM PT: "The decision of the Pasquotank County Board of Elections to reject the city council candidacy of an Elizabeth City State University student because he lives in a dorm raises again the issue of student voting in college towns.
His candidacy in a primarily black ward was challenged by a white political party chairman. It has been settled law in North Carolina that students could vote where they go to school, specifically including a dorm, as long as they do not intend to return to their parents’ home to live after graduation. That was the unanimous N.C. Supreme Court holding in the 1979 Lloyd v. Babb case in which petitioners challenged 7,000 Orange County voters and in the 1972 case of Hall v. Wake County concerning Meredith freshman Kathy Hall, who lived in a dorm. The General Assembly in the 1980s wrote the holding of the Lloyd case into a statute...".
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/...