Republican voter suppression tactics

Democracy on hold: Late Census data puts NC Municipal elections in limbo

maryannbaldwin.jpg

And you can thank the incompetent Trump administration for the delay:

Raleigh, Cary and other North Carolina cities like Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, may have to push back their 2021 local elections and keep current local leaders in office past their original terms. Cities that elect local leaders by district must update those districts after every new U.S. Census.

On Friday the U.S. Census Bureau announced it won’t be releasing district data until Sept. 30, which is after the traditional filing date for candidates to run in this year’s elections.

Just to give you an idea of how bad this is, most municipal redistricting plans are finalized by mid-June. They won't even be able to start the process until a few days before many of them would be holding the actual election. Raleigh held its 2011 municipal election on October 11th of that year, and they scheduled this year's for the 5th. And I have to say, this statement brought a face-palm and an eye-rub:

Blame the Republican Party for what happened yesterday

As usual, Rob Schofield hits several nails on their heads:

The list of important politicians who have known for years that Donald Trump was and is a criminally dangerous liar, race-baiter and traitor, and a malignant threat to American democracy is a long one.

And still, throughout almost all the last four-plus years, each of these individuals has not just stood passively by as Trump has run roughshod over the Constitution and countless core democratic values and norms, but affirmatively and cynically egged him on and/or aggressively defended him.

Before we talk about insurrection, let's scroll back a few days to see what Republican irresponsibility has accomplished. Trump's threatening phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State was actually set in motion almost a year ago, when Senate Republicans refused to punish him for making a threatening phone call to a foreign government leader. In both cases his personal political gain was at the root of his behavior, and both cases featured abuse of the power of his position. Back to the failed coup:

Federal Appeals Court overturns ban on Voter ID in NC

gavelbanging.jpg

Using a bad argument to accuse somebody else of using a bad argument:

The 4th Circuit ruling puts aside arguments by civil rights groups that sued over the law. They contended, in part, that the current voter ID rules can’t be carried out because previous courts declared Republicans approved a 2013 voter ID law with intentional racial discrimination in mind.

“The outcome hinges on the answer to a simple question: How much does the past matter?” Circuit Judge Julius Richardson wrote in the opinion, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision. “A legislature’s past acts do not condemn the acts of a later legislature, which we must presume acts in good faith.”

The thing is, that "later legislature" is composed of many of the same bad actors that wrote the 2013 law that was struck down. Phil Berger, David Lewis (who resigned this previous Summer after lying to a bank official), Warren Daniel, and several other lesser ticks that have burrowed into the legislative body. Their goal (vote suppression) has not changed one iota from seven years ago, and they have literally never acted in good faith. Back to the judges:

Voter suppression lawsuit filed after pepper-spraying incident

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson is headed to court:

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson is now a defendant in three lawsuits over the treatment of protesters in downtown Graham and he is not alone. Graham’s new police chief, Kristy Cole, is also a defendant in two of those suits, as is Alamance County. The City of Graham is still fighting at least one.

Allen v. City of Graham was filed Nov. 2 on behalf of three people and a group called Future Alamance at the now notorious police crackdown on the Oct. 31 “I am Change” march in downtown Graham.

Both County and City (Graham) leaders are responsible for this international embarrassment, and they have nobody to blame but themselves. The march was peaceful, the group had permission ahead of time, but officers started tearing down their sound system the very second (they thought) the time had expired. Just itching for a confrontation. And of course camouflage fatigues and machine guns were sported by some of Terry Johnson's little army. All that said, the voter suppression thing is going to be tough to prove:

Trump and BergerMoore whine to Supreme Court about ballot extension

They're just throwing shit against the wall to see what will stick:

President Donald Trump’s campaign and North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to return the state to a shorter deadline for accepting late-arriving absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day.

The legislative leaders argue in their appeal that the longer deadline, which was extended after early voting had begun, will result in unequal treatment of voters and dilute the value of ballots cast before the rule was changed.

What? Seriously, what? Even if those later ballots somehow did "dilute" the value of earlier votes cast, refusing to count the later ballots makes their value absolutely zero. But of course there is no dilution, this is just another "divide and conquer" tactic by Republicans. Trying to pit voters who mailed their ballots in early against those who didn't. Create a conflict where one doesn't exist, and then ask the court to settle that conflict. It's a variation of a strawman logical fallacy, but in this case, the strawman is the victim, not the antagonist. I agree with Josh Stein 100%:

Analysts: Trump can't win without North Carolina

trumpraleigh.jpg

Which is why we've been "blessed" by so many visits:

President Donald Trump’s frequent visits to North Carolina are a sign: the state and its 15 Electoral College votes are critical to his effort to win reelection. He has made seven appearances here since July 27 — four in September alone.

Biden leads Trump by a slight margin in North Carolina, which Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper called the most-important swing state in deciding the election. “I think there is a path to victory for Biden that doesn’t go down Tobacco Road, but I don’t think the same is true for President Trump,” Cooper said.

While I find it frustrating we still need to worry about Trump winning North Carolina (WTAF, people), it's somewhat comforting to know Biden can still win without us. Just like Obama did in 2012 with 332 Electoral votes. But (once again) it's the suburbs in NC that will determine the outcome:

Today is the last day for voter registration for 2020 Election

votingispatriotic.jpg

Unless you're planning to one-stop early vote:

Applications received after 5 p.m. Friday will be timely if postmarked on or before Oct. 9. If a postmark is missing or unclear, an application will be processed if it’s received no later than 20 days before the election. Otherwise, the application won’t be processed until after the election.

Faxed or emailed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, and hard copies must be delivered to the Board of Elections by 20 days before the election.

Understand, if you have moved since you last registered to vote, even if you're still in the same voting precinct, your registration is no longer valid and must be updated. You can check your voter registration status right here just to make sure. If you miss today's deadline, you can register and vote the same day at an early voting site. But you will need to provide proof of residence when doing so. Here are some other qualifications to consider:

Trump's voter suppression machine kicks into high gear

votebullies.jpg

And harassing election officials is one of their weapons:

The strategy was on display last week when Trump tweeted about nine “discarded” ballots in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Then this week the hot spot was a Philadelphia fight over whether Trump campaign poll monitors could be allowed into newly opened satellite election offices.

Trump poll monitors requested entry, but city election offices said neither party's observers had a legal right to access the buildings. Under state law, poll monitors can only observe live, in-person voting and not places where people can register, fill out early ballots and drop them off to be counted weeks later. The campaign sent observers to the sites, and in one case, they were turned away by a Republican on the city election commission. The campaign sued the city Thursday night in an effort to gain access to the sites.

After tearing apart the Postal Service to slow down the mail (and make people fear mailing in their ballots), of course they're going to haunt boards of elections sites where people go to drop off their absentee ballots. All it takes is a few high-profile incidents and people will be afraid to do that, too. Wisconsin's Election Commission developed guidelines for poll watchers in 2018 that is a good model:

Here they go again: Republicans try to block App State voting site

Hat-tip to Jerry Wayne for keeping an eye on these vote suppressors:

Eric Eller and Nancy Owen, the Republican members of the Watauga County Board of Elections, have filed a complaint in the Wake County Superior Court seeking to block an early voting site in the Appalachian State University student union.

Eller and Owen are represented by Boone attorney Nathan Miller, who has a long history of bringing suits to suppress the student vote. Eller and Owen are asking for an expedited hearing on their complaint. Early voting is due to begin October 15.

It appears that Eric Eller tried a few months ago to get local police to "gear up" for potential black protesters at the App State polling place:

Trump doesn't want to "test" the system, he wants to de-legitimize it

trumpasshole.jpg

And increase unnecessary crowding and confusion at the polls on Election day:

N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein reminded people they cannot vote twice, again rebuking President Donald Trump’s telling North Carolinians to vote by mail and to try again in person. It is illegal to vote twice.

Trump tweeted: “NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY. When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!”

Think about it. If his supporters follow this recommendation, there will be thousands of additional voters showing up at their polling places for no reason, asking poll workers for evidence that voter could easily get through the new NC Board of Elections BallotTrax portal. We're struggling as it is to have enough volunteers working the polls, the last thing they need is a steady stream of assholes who've already voted clogging up the process. Lines will already be long with social distancing, and this will turn even the least-crowded precincts into nightmares.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Republican voter suppression tactics