War on student voting next step for NC Republicans

 

Of the people in new river, it’s right next to the armory. that’s where this big huge population thing is and you’re going to have to drive all the way out of the city limits over here to bamboo road to vote. this is just stupid. >> this tape is from wataga county in western north carolina. happened on monday night this week. and what you see there on one level looks like a little local level dispute for a county in north carolina, but it turns out that what happened there is also a sign of something really big going on in that state. and from a national perspective, what everybody can tell is going on in north carolina is that there are these weekly protests going on, right? these protests by liberal groups, african-american groups, protesting. people getting arrested by the dozens. sometimes by the hundreds. week after week, trying to get national attention to what’s going on in north carolina. for the national level, those weekly protests are easy to see. also from the national level, there’s something going on with the state’s republican governor. his approval rating has gone through the floor. it’s the lowest it’s been since he took office. pat mckprcrory down to a 39% approval rating. paul lepage, rick scott approval rating. this deeply unpopular governor, pat mccrory signed into law the worst — bill in country. rick hassan, professor at university of north carolina, says looking at the north carolina bill pat mccrory just signed, he said it’s the worst voter suppression bill signed into law in any state since 1965 when the voting rights act passed. what’s becoming clear all of a sudden this week in north carolina is that that bill, that radical bill, that huge overhaul of north carolina voting rights that pat mccrory signed on monday, that is not a standalone thing. it apparently is just part of an overall plan, a multipart plan to radically change democracy in that state. a plan that includes more than just this new law that’s already being put into effect. you can see it happening this week in these counties. this is appalachian state university in north carolina. take a look. hot, hot, hot >> obviously part of their promo video, the very friendly, hot, hot, hot, appalachian state university in the northwest county of north carolina, in boone, watauga county, north carolina. watauga county went for mitt romney in the presidential election but just barely. it was really close. the specific voter precincts in boone, in and around appalachian state went for barack obama by a lot, by such big margins they almost dragged the rest of the county with them, but the county ultimately went for romney by a hair. now, of course, students at appalachian state are about to find from here on out it’s going to be a lot harder to vote in north carolina. the new law signed by governor mccrory this week is going to slash early voting in state, cutting same-day voter registration. most importantly, you’ll be blocked from voting in the state unless you show a government-issued i.d. even if you go to a public university like appalachian state university and your student i.d. is therefore provided to you by the state, your appalachian state student i.d. will not count for voting. nobody will be allowed to vote in the state if their state i.d. is a student i.d. wow. that is the new law in north carolina. but here is the other thing that has changed alongside it. when pat mccrory got elected last year, the first republican governor elected in north carolina since the ’80s. he appointed a whole new board of elections for the state. he appointed a republican majority board of elections. that board has now systemically been replacing the local elections boards all around the state with local republican officials. and so what you see here is the brand new republican majority local board where appalachian state is saying, hey, students, hey, you obama voting students, this new law, the republican governor just signed, it’s going to make it way harder for you to vote, but we think it’s not hard enough. we’re going to make it even tougher. so before now, in that town in boone, early voting took place at two spots in town and one spot on campus. now the republicans on the local board are getting rid of on-campus voting altogether. combining them into one. the one they’re picking is not at the school. they’re taking three precincts and rolling them into one. the one place is, as you might guess, also not on campus. altogether the one polling place the republicans are assigning now where there used to be three, that polling place will be expected to serve more than 9,000 people. 9,300 people at that one polling place. which has 35 parking places. what could possibly go wrong? at the county meeting on monday, the lone democrat left on the local board asked whether 9,300 people being crammed into the same off campus voting precinct might not just be an awful lot to expect. >> what’s the current state guideline for the maximum number of voters in one precinct? >> the last i recall receiving was probably in 1990. >> and what was the maximum number of voters in the guideline? >> if i recall correctly, 1,500. >> 1,500? >> 1,500? 1,500? 1,500 voters per precinct is the state guideline. they’re going to make this one for 9,300 people. at a site with less than 40 parking places. also no more voting at school. another voting site they are moving people to in town is nice and far away from where most of the people in town even live. good luck trying to vote in boone, north carolina. good lauck appalachian state students. serves you right for who you tend to vote for and the fact you tend to vote. this is an important part of the story that’s just now becoming clear. it’s not just that the republicans passed this law to make voting harder everywhere in the state, they’ve almost systemically top-down taken over the voting process at the local level. they’re just pulling all the silverware drawers out and dumping everything out all over the floor. if you think it’s bad for appalachian state, may i introduce you to elizabeth city state university? elizabeth city state university is a small historically black college in the northeastern corner of the state. in elizabeth city, in their county there, it’s the same deal. republican governor pat mccrory stacked the state board of elections which has now stacked the local board. now with the new law in place and the brand new republican majority on the local board, the county chairman for the republican party, the county chairman decided he was going to challenge the residency of this guy. his name is montraveos king, a civil minded guy, registered to vote at the college in elizabeth city since he got there in twhooi2009. he’ll be a senior this fall. he served as president of his university’s naacp chapter. this year mr. king decided he wanted to run for city council. says he wants to stay in elizabeth city after he graduates and wans to help elizabeth city see how great it is. what an asset it is to the city to have all those students in town. this week at the county board, the republican party chairman stepped in and said no. he formally challenged mr. king’s right to run for office by challenging his residency. montraveous king has lived there and been registered to vote there and has indeed voted there since 2009. the chairman of the county republican party says as far as he’s concerned, you don’t live here anymore. and the new republican majority board heard the challenge on tuesday and the new republican majority board said, yeah, you know what, kid, you don’t live here anymore. you cannot run for city council. we no longer consider you to be a resident. you do not qualify. since apparently the rules for qualifying to run as a candidate are the same as qualifying to vote so says the local paper, the ” elizabeth city daily advance.” that means if a student at the local college is disallowed for running for office, presumably this means they’ll disallow him from voting as well. and why stop with just him? i mean, if this works, republicans could disenfranchise the whole school. right? that’s apparently their plan. the republican party county chairman tells reporters that he intends to challenge the residency of other students at the local historically black college now, too. he’s urging republicans in college towns across north carolina to do the same with their new republican majority boards of elections, installed systemically by republican governor pat mccrory. do this across the state. let’s end students’ voting across north carolina. he told the associated press, “i plan to take this show on the road.” north carolina republicans clearly think they’re going to get away with this. for the record, it is blatantly illegal. blatantly unconstitutional. it has been since the 1970s. since 1979 when this u.s. supreme court ruled that students, in fact, have the constitutional right to register to vote and to vote where they go to school. that case began at another historically black college at prairie view a&m in texas. the county didn’t want to let the black students vote there either. the supreme court intervened and said texas had to let them vote. this is not a subtle gray areas in the law kind of thing. this is as clear as it gets. republicans in north carolina are doing it anyway. right now. this week. until somebody stops north carolina republicans from what they are doing, it is 1979 all over again. or i guess 1964 all over again? maybe earlier. the republican governor of north carolina pat mccrory has his approval ratings in the dtoilet. he’s paying the price for the whiplash radical turn the state has taken under his republican leadership. it is not one man it’s clear now. it’s a statewide plan and statewide effort. the more you look at what republicans are doing in north carolina right now, the more it makes sense why democrats and african-american voters have been getting arrested by the dozens, by the hundreds, week after week trying to get rest of the country to notice the kind of radicalism that is going on

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