Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

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The Path Forward: HB2 in the new age of Trump

The new reality of a Donald Trump presidency has thrown into question a number of evolving civil rights struggles.

As many LGBT North Carolinians and their allies feared, November’s election may have radically changed the legislative and legal future of the controversial House Bill 2.

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Governor Pat McCrory has called the General Assembly back into special session to consider repeal of House Bill 2

The announcement came after the Charlotte City Council voted Monday morning to repeal its own ordinance granting LGBT protections, including the ability of transgender people to use public restrooms that match their gender identity. The repeal is contingent ...
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McCrory sidesteps goodbyes, presses for sale of “crappy” historic buildings

Gov. Pat McCrory was jovial at his last Council of State meeting this morning, even cracking a few jokes, but he was also blunt and made no concessions about his feelings on developing dilapidated state buildings. What he ...
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As Cooper gains votes, McCrory gains Durham recount from State Board of Elections

The State Board of elections Wednesday ordered a partial recount of ballots cast in Durham County in the Nov. 8 election.

The board voted 3-2 along party lines to recount more than 90,000 votes reported late on the night of the election because of a software problem.

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State Board of Election has confidence in the counties; McCrory digs in, demands a recount

County boards should go on counting ballots in from the Nov. 8 election, the State Board of Elections unanimously voted Tuesday - and the authority over how they deal with challenges should remain at the local level.

At issue: The hotly contested gubernatorial race between Republican Governor Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper.

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Meet the people challenging the election and their fellow voters’ eligibility

The voters are felons. They’re dead. They voted in two states. They took advantage of same-day registration, which can’t be trusted. Election officials were tired and must have made an error. The tabulators may have malfunctioned. The memory cards were hinky.

The theories of why the 2016 election was allegedly botched, rigged and flubbed range from the believable – a felon still on parole unknowingly voted – to outlandish – someone might have broken in to a locked box in a locked room in a locked board of elections and entered ballots into a locked machine.

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Durham Board of Elections grants NCGOP attorney evidentiary hearing over ballot count; social justice activists protest

His shoulders slumped and his head bowed, Bill Brian, the Republican chairman of the Durham County Board of Elections, seemed burdened by the vote he was about to cast. “I’m having a difficult time,” he told a standing-room only crowd that had gathered in the county commissioners chambers.

With a short break to call an ambulance for someone who had collapsed in the back of the room, the probable cause hearing entailed an hour of testimony, some of it fanciful, about the integrity of Durham’s election results.

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Trump’s coattails fail to help McCrory; HB2 anger motivates split-ticket voters

North Carolina was a legitimate swing state this year, having gone narrowly to President Barack Obama in 2008 and narrowly to his Republican challenger Mitt Romney in 2012.

The state leaned conservative this year, part of a series of swing state Republican flips that put presidential candidate Donald Trump over the top in the electoral college.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

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McCrory camp raises “grave concerns” about Tuesday’s race; election officials suggest provisional and absentee ballots may not shift outcome

As Tuesday’s election night stretched into a tense Wednesday morning, Attorney General Roy Cooper claimed victory in his hard fought battle to unseat N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory. But the embattled Republican governor vowed that the race wasn’t over ...
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Voter intimidation or just a really bad joke?

Election workers call foul over voter frustration, political stunts in final hours of this heated campaign season

It started with a Facebook comment, progressed to a campaign worker wielding a baseball bat at the polls and has ended up in court.

This year’s struggle between the Republican and Democratic parties in Lee County, a small community of just over 35,000 registered voters, has been one for the books.

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Election Day data dive: Acts of nature influence Robeson County early voting turnout, while elsewhere humans meddle in the election outcome

voting-line-adobestock-400North Carolina’s robust early voting turnout of 45 percent, while laudable, has not trickled down to some of the eastern counties hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew in early October. Turnout is below the state average in 29 of the 38 counties that experienced the worst flooding and the highest number of road closures.

Although many factors influence the decision to vote, a natural disaster is certainly one of them.

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A group of voters stands in line waiting to vote early, surrounded by politicians' signs
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Election watchdogs worry voter intimidation could depress turnout

Long early voting lines and a particularly contentious presidential election have led to incidents of voter intimidation and confrontations at voting sites across the state, say voter protection organizations and election directors.

Some amount of that happens in every election cycle, said Anita Earls, executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. But this year is a bit more intense.

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The courts or the legislature? The future of HB2 beyond November

With less than two weeks before the Nov. 8 election, North Carolina House Bill 2 continues to be a contentious rallying point for the political left and right.

But what is the future of the controversial law beyond election season? Is repeal possible, or would a definitive federal ruling on the law be preferable?

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Washed out democracy? Not in Kinston

Matthew Young had six inches of water in his garage and two inches in his house during Hurricane Matthew, but he didn’t let it stop him from turning out for early voting in Kinston on Thursday.

“I know there are people who aren’t even thinking about the election because they’re trying to save their property, save their pets, save their jobs,” he said. “So I imagine the flooding will have some effect (on early voting), but it’s one of those things you make time for.”

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Washed out Democracy?

Grassroots organizers ensure hurricane impacted voters can cast their ballots Early voters who need a ride to the polls have a new option this year that, in a way, kind of resembles Uber. Democracy North Carolina and partner ...
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Washed out Democracy?

How hurricane impacted counties are prepared for early voting

Four blocks south of the Lenoir County Board of Elections office on Herritage Street in downtown Kinston, the Neuse River had hurdled its banks and was gushing over a bend in the road. The river had consumed one public park. Police had blocked a riverside walkway with yellow crime scene tape.

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