Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

9th District hearing bombshell: Mark Harris’ son testifies that he warned about Bladen operative and was ignored

Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris had no idea Wednesday that his son would would take the stand at an evidentiary hearing and testify that he warned his father multiple times about a political operative’s illegal election tactics before he hired him.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

ICE tearing apart families in historic raids across state

Kay* was cooling her machine down Tuesday morning at Bear Creek Arsenal in Sanford when she and a mechanic nearby noticed a supervisor looking visibly worried talking to someone they had never seen before.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

The state of gerrymandering reform: Weekend conference spells out where things stand

The first redistricting reform bill in North Carolina was introduced more than 50 years ago, and there have been countless proposals since. None, however, have made it past the House chamber.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Mark Harris loses court bid to certify 9th congressional race amid fraud investigation

Republican Mark Harris’ margin of victory in the 9th congressional district race is in question because of alleged election fraud, and a judge ruled Tuesday the results wouldn’t be certified until the State Board of Elections gets to the bottom of it all.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Advocates: Census citizenship question could harm already undercounted NC communities

“Is this person a citizen of the United States?” To some that might seem like a simple question to put on the 2020 census, but to some already undercounted populations it perpetuates fear and creates a real possibility for their communities to lose resources.

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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

Holding Cooper vetoes in 2019: First, Democrats will need to show up

As you may have heard by now, there was a rather maddening side story to the veto override votes that took place during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day at the North Carolina General Assembly. As commentator Thomas Mills rightfully pointed out last week on the website Politics NC, had all Democratic members of the House showed up, it’s quite possible that Governor Cooper’s vetoes of two badly flawed bills (or at least one of them, anyway) could have been sustained.

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Defending Democracy Radio Interviews

Jane Pinsky, Director of the NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform


Jane Pinsky, Director of the NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform discusses election irregularities in NC’s 9th congressional district, the flawed ethics investigation process and the need for nonpartisan redistricting reform.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

House approves voter ID after long debate over voter fraud, student IDs

It was clear during two hours of debate Wednesday where the two political parties at the legislature diverged over photo ID: their belief in voter fraud. The GOP supermajority expectedly passed legislation that would implement a constitutional requirement that voters must show a photo ID to cast a ballot.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

After two years and a raft of allegations, investigation into Sen. Ralph Hise closes with a modest fine

For the better part of two years, allegations of myriad campaign finance violations have hung over state Sen. Ralph Hise, an influential western North Carolina Republican. But Tuesday morning, members of a key state elections and ethics panel unanimously agreed to a settlement that, as far as state election officials goes, closes the book with a relatively modest punishment.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Partisan gerrymandering will be North Carolina’s next big court battle

Breaking the Republicans’ veto-proof majority was the Democrats’ and voting rights activists’ short game. Their long game? Ending partisan gerrymandering for good in North Carolina. Common Cause, the North Carolina Democratic Party and a group of individual voters filed a lawsuit earlier this week in Wake County Superior Court challenging the...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Midterm election proves to be Independence Day for NC courts

The North Carolina courts have a lot to celebrate after Tuesday night – voter turnout in statewide judicial races was higher than the past three midterm elections, voters elected the first openly LGBTQ candidate in any statewide political race and there was a rebuke on lawmakers’ efforts to politicize the judicial branch.

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Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Black sheriffs make history in sweep of seven largest NC counties

While Congressional and General Assembly races got most of the election headlines this week, history was quietly being made in a series of law enforcement races. On Tuesday the state's seven largest counties - Buncombe, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake - all elected Black men sheriff.

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Defending Democracy Setting the Record Straight Top Story

Now what? Five initial election takeaways for North Carolinians

The 2018 election is finally and mercifully over and, as was noted in this space yesterday, now is no time for progressives to rest on their laurels. Having taken some promising initial steps in the struggle to overcome Trumpism and build a better, fairer, freer and more sustainable nation and planet, now is the time...

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Defending Democracy Top Story

Still haven’t voted? Read this refresher before heading to the polls

North Carolinians have until 7:30 p.m. this evening to vote in a contentious midterm election in which voters will decide, among other things, the fate of several controversial constitutional amendments. While more than two million voters already cast their ballots early, there are still five million more who have a chance to study up on the election and make their voice heard.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Questions linger about victims’ rights constitutional amendment, big budget campaign

Early voting starts today, which means North Carolinians will finally get to decide on six proposed constitutional amendments, including one that would bolster victims’ rights.

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