Archives by: Steve Ford

Steve Ford

Steve Ford's articles and posts

Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

GOP senators push absentee ballot bill to address their top fear: Too many votes

With Republican lawmakers throughout the land making “election integrity” a favorite cause and rallying cry, it likely was just a matter of time before some of their North Carolina counterparts got on board. Lo and behold, along came the sterling piece of legislative statesmanship known as Senate Bill 326, filed on March 18 and entitled the "Election Integrity Act."

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Will NC allow Trump’s lies to give rise to renewed voter suppression?

Perhaps it’s the pandemic that offers a fitting analogy to the condition of our politics as Americans try to recover from the trauma of Jan. 6 – when we came dangerously close to the onset of an anti-democratic Trump-ocracy. The loss of more than 500,000 of our fellow citizens, their lives snuffed out by COVID-19, has been a cataclysmic shock to the nation, an epic of sorrow and suffering.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Hard year’s signposts in quest for justice

Even for those of us who found a measure of joy during the year whose end we now mark – taking delight from a child’s birth, perhaps, or from a marriage, a graduation, success at work – Americans will remember 2020 chiefly as a showcase of conflict and sorrow. It brought of course the rampage of the coronavirus, costing upwards of 330,000 lives with many more in the balance.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

NC election results show progressives still have a lot of work to do

North Carolinians who stood against our soon-to-be ex-president’s rancid politics of grievance, contempt and division, fueled by a gusher of falsehoods, are heartened by the nation’s clear choice of Joseph R. Biden Jr. to be our next chief executive. At the same time, Biden’s happy supporters must reckon with this uncomfortable fact: half of the Tar Heel electorate wanted to see Donald Trump occupy the White House for another four years. 

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Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Grounds for optimism: NC’s election machinery is doing its job

With North Carolinians on track to cast eye-popping numbers of votes in advance of Election Day, Nov. 3, perhaps it’s time to breathe a cautious sigh of relief. A system that could have buckled under the strain of massive early voting, both by mail and in person, amidst the coronavirus pandemic may have creaked and groaned but so far looks to be meeting the challenge.

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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

Souls to the polls? How churches and other nonprofits can help North Carolinians vote

It’s pretty obvious why the N.C. Council of Churches and its allies on the faith-and-justice spectrum hope to see plenty of like-minded voters turning out for the elections this fall. Much is at stake, from who will serve as the nation’s chief executive during perilous, challenging times to who will decide how public schools are expected to operate while the coronavirus still threatens.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The virus and the vulnerable

The image of a perfect storm conveys a rueful irony – the storm whose components are so intertwined, so synchronized, so mutually reinforcing as to make it “perfect” in its destructiveness. Perfect storm, meet COVID-19. The overall dynamic is as simple as it is terrible: The coronavirus endangers people who come into contact with others who may be infected. People retreat into their homebound bubbles.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Making the 2020 election, safe, fair and efficient: Now is the time to act

Members of the North Carolina House and Senate, resolutely confronting the deadly and disastrous coronavirus pandemic, have offered up shining examples of just what friends are for. Friends are there to rescue you as you are about to commit a major blunder – a blunder betraying long-held principles and maybe even helping some people who aren’t campaign mega-donors. The House, taking its cue from Speaker Tim Moore, agreed it would be a good idea – at least while the virus continues to cut its swath...

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Defending Democracy Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Now is the time to act to protect the integrity of the November election

When members of the N.C. General Assembly reconvene tomorrow – presumably wearing masks and taking all the other recommended precautions to stay safe and help foil the spread of COVID-19 – they’ll confront an unprecedented tangle of complex and crucial issues. Normally – yes, what we wouldn’t give for some normality – legislators’ main chore this spring would be truing up the proposed state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Even before North Carolina and the rest of Planet Earth got whacked with a viral pandemic, however, that budget exercise was going to be messy. There was no proposed budget to true up because of a legislative standoff with Gov. Roy Cooper.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Courts rightfully unswayed by GOP’s voter ID push

The North Carolina General Assembly’s Republican majority is down to what looks to be its last-ditch defense of the voter ID law it rammed through at the tail end of 2018: Stop complaining because it could be worse! That was the thrust of the argument mounted by GOP legislative chiefs as they tried to fend off yet another lawsuit accusing them of discriminating against African-American voters to gain an advantage at the polls. News flash – it isn’t working. Again.

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