Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

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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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

When it rains voter suppression

It’s a truism that weather affects elections. Yes, many of us would slosh through a downpour if that’s what it took to get to the polls. But a cold, driving rain is a disincentive. Like it or not, that’s plain old human nature.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Election officials, advocates scramble to carry on in Florence’s aftermath

It’s still not clear exactly how much damage Hurricane Florence left in her wake, but "the show must go on" for election officials and organizations dedicated to getting out the vote in the November midterm elections.

“The impact of Hurricane Florence has made it even more pressing for the voices of AAPIs [Asian American and Pacific Islanders] and other communities of color to be heard in this election,” said Chavi Koneru, Executive Director at North Carolina Asian Americans Together.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Trump administration ‘fishing expedition’ could compromise privacy of millions of NC voters

If North Carolina election officials are forced to comply with federal subpoenas for election data, the government would have information about how more than two million people voted over the past eight years.

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Defending Democracy Original Commentary Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the history of women serving in the NC General Assembly

To get a sense of the historical marginalization of women in the General Assembly, look no further than the bathrooms in the Legislative Building. Slightly larger than a phone booth, the bathrooms contain only one toilet and one sink...

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Special report: A celebration of women’s suffrage on its 99th anniversary

Ninety-nine years ago today, a stalemate between two states nearly derailed the women's suffrage movement. With just one state shy of the required 36 to ratify the 19th amendment, North Carolina and Tennessee were battling not to be the one to allow women the right to vote.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Anglin, Edwards can keep their party labels

Wake County judge rejects legislature's last-minute rule change on candidate party affiliation Legislators cannot reach back in time and change the rules of an election after the fact, a Wake County Superior Court judge ruled Monday. Judge Rebecca Holt issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement from printing any election ballots that do not reflect judicial candidates Chris Anglin’s and Rebecca Edwards’ chosen party affiliations.

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Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Policy Watch “Crucial Conversation” panel decries six constitutional amendments on the ballot

At a standing-room only gathering to discuss the six proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution Wednesday, Gerry Cohen had a simple summation of the Republican-controlled legislature's message to Democrats. "You can win the governorship and the state Supreme Court," Cohen said the message went. “But we'll make it worthless for you."

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