Skip to main content

Public boosterism in North Carolina for years has flourished as popular magazines selected North Carolina as a top choice as a place to live year after year. Now North Carolinians are seeing another side of being in the news frequently, as our state and local governments make national news--and not in a good way.

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:

Originally posted to Justice and Hope on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Holder needs to get involved here for sure (10+ / 0-)

    This is a major play on Voting Rights amongst a bunch of major players (PA, TX, IN, WI, etc). It must be confronted in court.

    The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

    by bastrop on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:13:50 PM PDT

    •  Holder needed to get involved in NC, "yesterday"! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bastrop, DawnN, UnionMade

      The usage of the term "Voter ID" in framing this VIVA bill is appalling.  There is so much more to this despicable voter suppression legislation that it's making heads spin in this state, and it doesn't have anything to do with voting integrity.   In fact, over the past years over 21 million votes have been cast in elections in NC, and only 2 cases of voter fraud were found to have occurred.

      McCrory and the Tar Heel Taliban are out to make sure that people in this state won't, and can't vote as that's the only way the Tea Bag/Republicans can stay in power.

      “The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.” - Voltaire.

      by LamontCranston on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:13:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This still shocks me. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Being white, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I feel like an "undercover" democrat. I reckon they'll let me waltz right in and vote against them Pope smokers

    •  Please do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "vote against them Pope smokers" that is.  Early and often.

      Martha Brock Cary, NC

      by mbrock49 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:44:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I kinda feel the same way (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, I even thought about changing my registration to Independent just to keep 'em guessing.  But then I'd get phone calls from BOTH sides during campaigns.  I can only ignore just so much, ya know?

      But count on it, I'll be at the Wake BoE on Day 1 of early voting as always.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 05:55:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sooo-oo unamerican. (0+ / 0-)
  •  I would have never thought they would be so (4+ / 0-)

    downright blatant. I feel like I was here and I missed something. We went from the General Betray Us ad from Move eliciting a total freak out to conservatives disrespecting the President, a governor pointing in his face, you lie,  magic anti rape sperm blockers, Limbaugh worship and fear to corporate tax breaks at the expense of blue collar workers pay and pensions and now just a disenfranchisement free-for-all. I thought those death panels health care town halls were the bottom of the barrel. Boy was I naive. They have no bottom.

    And I thought Vince Foster, gate after gate and a ginned up Clinton impeachment was the worst. Then I thought Bush v Gore. They have no bottom.

    Hey Republicans, you know closing precincts, cutting down early voting and draconian voter ID is immoral. Where is your integrity? Your moral compass? Your outrage? When you believe it suits you, you are at town hall meetings acting a real ass. When it does not, nary a whisper.

    •  Where is the outrage? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, UnionMade

      From the general public little concern that our state's college students, for no reason other than political advantage by the GOP, are being disenfranchised.  Now we have Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D-Chapel Hill) retiring to address the voting rights scandal.

      When, pray tell, do we truly "hit bottom?"

      Martha Brock Cary, NC

      by mbrock49 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:48:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just came back from attending my town's Moral (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DawnN, UnionMade, Chun Yang

        Monday....  Little ole Burnsville NC...  It was well attended and people are mad as heck.  This won't stand in the courts.

        “The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.” - Voltaire.

        by LamontCranston on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:16:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry I couldn't join the Grannies in Burnsville, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mbrock49, LamontCranston

          Lamont, but glad to hear you had a good turnout. Great to see everyone getting together on the issues.

          Had a Moffitt encounter at Asheville MM that proved to me that the Koch-anointed are so sure of their power that either their hubris will be the key to tripping them up - or that we are indeed doomed.

          If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. - Joseph Wood Krutch

          by DawnN on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:21:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The state's newspapers are speaking up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Great editorial posted today by Greensboro News Record.  Check it out:

          Martha Brock Cary, NC

          by mbrock49 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:36:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good one. Hard to believe it got printed. Who owns (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the paper there?

            If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. - Joseph Wood Krutch

            by DawnN on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:54:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If I am up late, I listen to the BBC news on ..... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            my local public radio station and I was shocked to hear the second lead in story (at midnight our time) which detailed McCrory signing the "Voter ID" bill.  Talk about media coverage... The story was incredible and in great detail about the all of the negative aspects of what is now termed as "VIVA".  Their research was impressive about the details of this voter suppression travesty.

            Now where is our national MSM and their coverage of what is happening??


            “The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.” - Voltaire.

            by LamontCranston on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:16:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this diary. It is a scandal - and a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LamontCranston, mbrock49

    lesson. When I read the All-Hell-Broke-Loose-at-the-Board-of-Elections-Meeting Diary you linked to, I went, mentally kicking and screaming ( A meeting? a meeting of some local board where I don't even live? Nooo....), to the full video of the Wautaga Board of Elections Meeting.

    Riveting. Here's what we're up against people. Planned and synchronized. If you're in NC, watch the video and get thee to your next Election Board meeting. If you live elsewhere, watch the video - and know that this is coming, courtesy of ALEC, to a meeting near you. By the time people notice national candidates and elections, it's all over.

    We all need to pay attention to our local politics. Attend the damn boring meetings. I say we make them into social events. meet-ups with friends. Dates. Sing-a-longs. Bring popcorn. Bring lawyers. Pass around Mad Libs. Whatever. Just show up.

    If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. - Joseph Wood Krutch

    by DawnN on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:48:14 PM PDT

    •  Actually, when the Dems controlled the NC House (0+ / 0-)

      A member from Charlotte, a Democrat named Ruth Easterling, used to pop popcorn and share in all around her on the floor of the House.  My kind of politico.

      I like the idea of popcorn and lawyers.  I am updating this diary with an op ed piece just posted this afternoon by Gerry Cohen, Counsel at the NC General Assembly.  He pulls  no punches.  Hope this was not a suicide attack by Cohen.  It will be in the News and Observer tomorrow.

      Martha Brock Cary, NC

      by mbrock49 on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 08:14:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Andy Ball for Mayor of Boone (0+ / 0-)

    In Boone, the county seat of Watauga County, seat of suppression, Andy Ball is the progressive candidate for Mayor this fall.  He was elected to the Town Council in 2009 as a Appalachian State senior and was re elected in 2011. He's helping organize opposition to the lunacy.  You can contribute to his campaign at just click on one of the dollar amounts, and if you are giving $100 or over list your occupation and employer in the send a message field on the donate screen (state disclosure

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site