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BOE Bill Creates More Secrecy in Elections; VoterID Veto Overridden; Reflections on 2018
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Gov. Cooper Refuses to Sign Board of Elections Re-structure Bill Which Keeps Campaign Finance Investigations Confidential


Please make one more call to your representatives this week!

The clock is ticking until the end of the year, and what will hopefully be the end of this supermajority's session. However, the bill to re-structure the Board of Ethics and Elections for the 4th time since 2016 has yet to be signed by Governor Cooper. (As a reminder, here's a link to the history of these re-structures, and our concerns with the latest version, H1029.)

While there are plenty of opinions on whether a new primary should be allowed for a special 2019 election in NC09, which is what this new bill calls for, Governor Cooper has said he will sign the bill if the NCGOP removes the provision which requires certain political investigations to remain confidential between the newly formed Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission. For a party which has demanded so much transparency from the current Board, which is investigating absentee ballot vote theft and election tampering, this new language creating more secrecy makes us wonder what they hope to hide. (The concerning text starts at the end of page 17 of the bill.)

There are a lot of good provisions in this bill, but in this age of cynicism with our electoral process, corruption at many levels of government, and a need to ensure integrity in the system, we agree with Governor Cooper that there is no need for confidential investigations. The NC Council of Churches has written a great opinion on this as well.

Please take a moment tomorrow and contact your state representatives. Let them know you are calling about Bill H1029, and want to see more transparency in electoral investigations, not more secrecy. They should fix the bill by removing the confidentiality of investigations, and avoid extending their session for yet another veto override. Let our representatives go home for the holidays! 

Look up your representative's contact information here. 

NCGA Overrides Gov. Cooper's Veto on VoterID Bill


The Senate voted yesterday and the House today, with a final 72-40 vote to override the VoterID veto. The requirement to show a photo when you vote is now constitutional law. 

The debate on the vote today turned ugly, as Representatives Lewis and Dixon admonished the Governor for his veto, claiming he should hang his head in shame and had disrespected the will of the voters. Rep. Collins even claimed he was a proud member of the Republican Party of Emancipation, and not the racist Democratic Party which was in charge when Jim Crow was around. It devolved into such a personal reprimand of Cooper that several Democratic lawmakers stood up in defense of his veto and made strong cases about why this bill should go back to the drawing board. 

Rep. Meyer said it failed the fairness test, while Rep. Jackson said it was too complex, will create longer lines to vote, require more provisional ballots and create delays in reporting results. He questioned why voters were denied the details of the bill before voting on it. 

The most heartfelt opposition came from retiring Rep. Michaux, who said he was representing his voters who overwhelmingly voted against the amendment in Durham. He also questioned why others were trying to castigate those who disagree, and blame the Governor so harshly. It seems that the people yelling the loudest about fraud are those that are creating the fraud, he said. He also asked why they weren't working on fixing the NC State Constitution which still has a provision for passing a literacy test in order to register to vote. 

Rep. Michaux's closing words were "You won't need to bother with me next year other than when I start showing up in public...There's a change coming." We look forward to raising #goodtrouble with him in 2019!

As of this evening, the first lawsuit against the VoterID bill has been filed by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice on behalf of six voters, with six violations of the NC Constitution spelled out. Read the summary here

Reflections on 2018


You may be feeling as overwhelmed as we are as this year comes to a close, and it's no wonder. Staying mentally and physically engaged in protecting our democracy can be draining, especially when there are fewer "wins" than hoped for. But there were positive moments to celebrate, and 2019 looks to bring more as we grow our community and bring our experience and collaboration to the table. 

We looked at the 2018 data from our website and social media posts and pulled out the top issues that resonated with our followers.
 Click here to see what mattered most!

Thank you for your support, your feedback and your donations. And if you still need one more gift for your fellow progressives (including yourself), consider our new tee shirts just released and designed by a fellow StrongerNC member! A portion of the sale will go towards continuing our mission to encourage civic engagement and promoting progressive causes. 
 
                                           

 
Happy Holidays from all of us at StrongerNC!
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Copyright © 2018
Stronger NC, Inc. All rights reserved.
Stronger North Carolina, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that educates North Carolina citizens about issues affecting the electorate. Stronger NC is not affiliated with any political party and does not endorse individual candidates. 


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