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Solidarity
February 10, 2014 8:56 AM   Subscribe

In possibly the largest Southern progressive protest since Selma in 1965, 75,000 to 100,000 people marched on Raleigh, North Carolina this Sunday in protest against the recently elected conservative government’s radical agenda. Once a comparatively moderate Southern state, the government North Carolina elected in 2010 has begun a systematic campaign [previously] to remove 50 years of progressive legislation from the state. Weekly Moral Mondays protests [previously], beginning in April 2013, have been ongoing, but this march represents the biggest gathering so far in protest of the NC government.

Led by the head of the NC NAACP, Rev. William Barber II, the march was by no means limited to African-American protesters. In the past year, Barber has become one of the most publicized activists in the country as the Moral Monday demonstrations he organized attracted thousands to protest against the Legislature in Raleigh. Hundreds, including Barber, have been arrested for acts of civil disobedience.
posted by showbiz_liz (130 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite

 
Other than the truism that "haters gotta hate," I really can't comprehend what's going on in NC. They've really gone off the rails.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:58 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


And there was almost nothing on either network news or the news networks about it. Your liberal media at work!
posted by zombieflanders at 9:02 AM on February 10 [39 favorites]


I had a couple of friends who marched in this on Saturday!
posted by Kitteh at 9:07 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


And there was almost nothing on either network news or the news networks about it. Your liberal media at work!

Hey, it worked in 2003 when half the world protested the Iraq invasion,why wouldn;'t it work on smaller scale domestically?

More to the point, it doesn't seem to have changed anything in North Carolina so far, does it? I mean, Art Pope, Pat McCrory, and the rest haven't exactly behaved as if any of this is happening, and it's not clear that this will have consequences in the next election cycle either.

Living in the Triangle is especially frustrating right now because so many people are working incredibly hard to raise awareness…but most of the state, not to mention the country, doesn't seem to care or actually supports what the ideologues in Raleigh are up to.

I really can't comprehend what's going on in NC. They've really gone off the rails.

It's not just North Carolina.
posted by kewb at 9:07 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


[A few comments removed. Do not shitbomb threads if you want to still have an account here; do not reply to shitbombs if you want threads not to disintegrate into shitty shrapnel. Thank you.]
posted by cortex at 9:21 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Kay Hagen, the incumbent Democratic Senator is up for reelection this year, and she's got a big target on her back. The most prominent Republican running to oppose her, however, is the Speaker of the State House, Thom Tillis. As awful as he would be as a U.S. Senator, I'm hoping he will be the nominee so that all this discontent at the rampaging state government can be marshaled against him.
posted by Bromius at 9:23 AM on February 10


(thanks cortex, and sorry)

I couldn't make the march, but many people from my church did, and were fired up on Sunday.

I think it's a shame that this march received basically no news attention, but I also don't think there's any chance that will dissuade protesters from continuing to organize marches in Raleigh as long as the state government here continues to be so deaf to its constituents.
posted by jermsplan at 9:23 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Both my cousin's wife and her daughter marched in this. Incidentally, there has been some local level pull back on the radical reactions, in that all the folks who were arrested during the Monday protests last year suddenly found out last week that the charges were dropped when they showed up for court. I can't recall what the trumped up charges were, but my cousin's wife was pleasantly surprised.
posted by Atreides at 9:25 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Living in the Triangle is especially frustrating right now because so many people are working incredibly hard to raise awareness…but most of the state, not to mention the country, doesn't seem to care or actually supports what the ideologues in Raleigh are up to.

Welcome to a culture that - from valuing material progress and wealth over all - has gutted, over decades, the empathic glue that minimizes suffering of the whole. Aristotle would have described most Americans as slaves. I agree. We are slaves to the material and status desires that all human beings are subject to, and magnified by a culture that makes material wealth and status as gods.

Most people in the country (forget the fawning, useless, media) don't care because they are too busy trying to hang on the the shrinking largesse that they thought was their right.

Last, I can get with the Weekly Moral Monday protests far better than I can Occupy. That's not to say that Occupy didn't accomplish anything. This is just the beginning; it will take a decade or two to remake America's moral fiber; I'm optimistic, but in the meantime there is going to continue to be a lot of displacement, and more suffering than should have to be the case. What other should one expect; we're a Plutocracy, run by and for the wealthy, and connected few.

What's left are the freedoms we need to protest this Plutocratic takeover; this is the last bastion; we need to be on our careful guard to be sure that that bastion is not destroyed. Keep it up, good people.
posted by Vibrissae at 9:25 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


In possibly the largest Southern progressive protest since Selma in 1965, 75,000 to 100,000 people marched on Raleigh

The 3rd and largest of the Selma marches started with about 8,000 people, continued with a few hundred over the next few days on the way to Montgomery, and the final arrival speeches and soforth were attended by about 25,000.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:32 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Whoops, I was just using the language from one of the articles. My bad if it's inaccurate.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:39 AM on February 10


Charlie Pierce: The Massive Protest You Missed This Weekend
Nothing says respectful discourse to me like calling an appeal for voting rights "radical" and "left-wing." Nothing says respectful discourse to me like trying to get an anchor whose opinions you don't like fired from his job. [NC GOP Chairman] Claude [Pope] is a cousin of Art Pope, the wingnut sugar daddy who bought the N.C. Republican party lock, stock, and vestigial conscience, and who has financed the gradual transformation of The Smart Carolina into a functional twin of its idiot cousin to the south. And, no, that is not respectful because Art Pope is worthy of all the scorn we traditionally heap on the grifting class. William Barber is right to yell into his ear, and into that of his cousin.
Another ad depicted Heagarty, who has dark hair and a dark complexion, as Hispanic. (He is Caucasian.) The ad was sponsored by the North Carolina Republican Party, to which Pope had contributed in 2008. Heagarty said, "They slapped a sombrero on a photo of me, and wrote, ‘Mucho Taxo! Adios, Señor!' " He said, "If you put all of the Pope groups together, they and the North Carolina G.O.P. spent more to defeat me than the guy who actually won." He fell silent, then added, "For an individual to have so much power is frightening. The government of North Carolina is for sale."
I'm sure, very soon, we'll start hearing about how the Moral Monday movement has no "focus," no "single message." Nevertheless, at the moment, this seems to me to be a considerable example of what we used to call a "news story." People are pushing back against what is, for all intents and purposes, the establishment of a one-party oligarchy operating at the whim of one man. At least Huey Long had to stand for election once in a while. Now, thanks to Citizens United, you don't even have to bother.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:39 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


My bad if it's inaccurate.

I don't know if the statement was inaccurate (surely there must have been something larger between the two?) but Selma, just in terms of number of people, wasn't all that huge.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:42 AM on February 10


I checked the Google News and found that USA Today and the San Fransisco Chronicle carried stories on the march in Raleigh - otherwise the coverage was by local N.C. media or lefty outfits like The Nation - or by right wing outlets complaining or lying about it.

Honest question: did the tea party ever bring 100,000 to a state-level rally?

Not-so-honest question: How much media coverage did every podunk tea party rally get back in '09?

Call your favorite "liberal media" outlet and ask why they aren't covering this...
posted by tommyD at 9:48 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


I was there. It was a little disheartening to see news coverage of the rally focusing on the Medical Marijuana people. There was no mention of that issue in the speeches, and it was clear that the organizers of the march were trying to be as moderate as they could be.
posted by zscore at 9:50 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


The only progressive people I knew in North Carolina emigrated to The Netherlands rather than stay in a state that took a hard turn to the right. The North Carolinians I still have contact with have become full-bore, neo-liberal, 'libertarian' right-wingers. It's been very confusing to watch from a few hundred miles away.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:54 AM on February 10


the gradual transformation of The Smart Carolina into a functional twin of its idiot cousin to the south

Dag!

For what it's worth, both Georgia and South Carolina are trying to emulate the success of Moral Mondays.
posted by mittens at 9:56 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Honest question: did the tea party ever bring 100,000 to a state-level rally?

No, but tea-partiers, and right-wingers in general, come out to vote when it really matters. The reason there's a right wing government in a state that voted Obama in a presidential election is that radical left would rather do street theater than organize and vote in the actual off-year elections.
posted by overhauser at 10:00 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Is there a coherent and factual list of what the Republicans in NC are up to, and what laws have been changed, specifically? The HuffPo article linked in the OP is way too vague, paranoid, and hand-wavey to satiate my curiosity.
posted by gsh at 10:01 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I wanted to go to this rally, but I was worried about getting arrested. Arrest records don't look so hot on job applications. Paraphrasing a little bit: between April 29 2013 and July 15 2013, 838 people were arrested during North Carolina Moral Monday protests, including the former dean of arts and sciences at Duke University [link].
posted by oceanjesse at 10:11 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


radical left would rather do street theater

Sadly, and more importantly, the moderate, center left would rather stay at home.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:12 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Is there a coherent and factual list of what the Republicans in NC are up to, and what laws have been changed, specifically?

Here's a good place to start, but it's from last year, and there's a good bit of fresh hell they have in store for the new legislative session.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:15 AM on February 10


lol OceanJesse I'm pretty sure almost everyone who has been arrested at a Moral Monday has wanted to be arrested.
posted by zscore at 10:16 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


"the moderate, center left would rather stay at home." - Why? Answer that question and perhaps progress can be made.
posted by Ardiril at 10:16 AM on February 10


Well, and nobody is trying to actively disenfranchise tea partiers and putting up every obstacle imaginable even when they're allowed to vote.
posted by ctmf at 10:17 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


gsh:

According to this link, "Since North Carolina Republicans took over both legislative chambers in 2010, legislators have eliminated a host of programs and raised taxes on the bottom 80 percent, repealed a tax credit for 900,000 working families, enforced voter suppression efforts, blocked Medicaid coverage, cut pre-Kindergarten funding, cut federal unemployment benefits, and gave itself the authority to intervene in abortion lawsuits."
posted by univac at 10:18 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


And there was almost nothing on either network news or the news networks about it. Your liberal media at work!

I only heard about this because John Darnielle was tweeting about it, and I was still surprised how many people turned up.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:22 AM on February 10


My family drove 4 hours from Asheville to attend. From what I could tell, over 10% of the marchers were Unitarian Universalists (easy to see from our yellow "Standing on the Side of Love" shirts). I talked to UUs from Boston, Minnesota, and New York who'd come down to support us. There were lots and lots of Planned Parenthood marchers in pink hats. There were union groups, student groups, Baptist churches, United Churches of Christ, rainbow flags, and lots and lots of teachers. It was the most truly diverse crowd I've been in since Obama's first inauguration.

gsh, a number of things have people riled up, and the NAACP has been truly remarkable in putting together coalitions. Our legislature is openly hostile to public education, cutting job security for teachers, keeping teacher pay among the lowest in the nation, and opening more charter schools. They've passed a voter ID law in hopes of keeping the marginalized away from the polls. They've rejected the Medicaid expansion, so if you're an adult under the poverty line, you can't get health insurance, even under the ACA. They passed an amendment banning gay marriage. They've shut down almost all abortion providers statewide. They've lowered income taxes (especially on the wealthy) and cut programs, and shifted the burden of paying for it all to the middle and lower classes. In Asheville specifically, they're trying to take away local control of our water supply without recompense, and are starving the city budget, trying to punish and kill the only bastion of liberalism in the western part of the state. This is not paranoia--it's a political salt-the-earth policy. North Carolina is very split between urban progressives (many of whom have moved to the state from elsewhere) and the old rural South. The GOP figures this may be their last hurrah and they are determined to poison every well they can while they hold the reins of power.
posted by rikschell at 10:23 AM on February 10 [24 favorites]


Why? Answer that question and perhaps progress can be made.

Maybe they don't like street theatre? Maybe they just aren't energised by the choices provided by the DNC establishment? The issues don't affect them personally enough? Don't care enough? Too busy? Afraid? Don't like Obama? Actually racists? Classists? Selfish?

There could be any number of reasons. Getting some exciting and dynamic choices to counter the Decendants of Jesse would be a good start at getting them interested in going to the polls.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:25 AM on February 10


And, yes, all previous arrests were planned. Volunteers interrupted the legislature, trying to slow down the train wreck. No one was arrested at this weekend's march.
posted by rikschell at 10:26 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


rikschell: The GOP figures this may be their last hurrah and they are determined to poison every well they can while they hold the reins of power.

Exactly.

I wish I had heard of this ahead of time, but I tend to not follow political news very closely, since it is so depressing. NC MeFites, if there's another one of these, let's meet up and go, OK?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:28 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I talked to UUs from Boston, Minnesota, and New York who'd come down to support us.

*looks over shoulder of person bent over hood of car while taking a bite of sandwich* Well there's your problem! It's great to have support, but none of those people can make a difference at the polls in North Carolina.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:31 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


"the moderate, center left would rather stay at home." - Why? Answer that question and perhaps progress can be made.

In general, the motivated, radical right gets the moderate right out to vote at every election, no matter how small. Last time I was home in Missouri, a very minor election was going on and someone called my (Catholic, center-right) mother twice offering to give her a ride to the polls if she hadn't voted yet. Who on the left does this?
posted by overhauser at 10:35 AM on February 10


the people gave voice to a full roster of outrages, from racist attacks on voting rights to the state government's refusal to expand Medicaid to half a million vulnerable Tar Heels to limitations on women's reproductive freedom.
laundry list protest, check!
In the past progressives in other Southern states have looked with envy at North Carolina, whose political system has been dominated by business-oriented forward-looking moderates eager to invest in education and to attract corporations to the state with research universities rather than a crusade to create a low-tax, low wage Texas-style race to the bottom business climate. So Progressive North Carolinians were clearly caught unaware as first conservatives took over the legislature and then the governorship.
so, wait, why are "progressives" using civil disobedience to to try save the policies of business-oriented "forward-looking" moderates who threw money at the universities and out of state corporations?

And why is it that business-oriented moderates always roll over when it comes time for a little discipline? It's easier to blame the wing-nuts when in the end it's the same good cop - bad cop routine that business-oriented types play with their soft-headed over-educated professional friends.

Maybe it's time to realize that the standard liberal balms of education and government charity for the destitute aren't going to cut it in the the full-scale class war being waged right now in this country.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:36 AM on February 10


Is it really that unreasonable to ask voters to show an ID?

Not at all -- if you're also willing to make it as easy as possible for people to get IDs. Put ID facilities in places that are easy for people to get to if they can't afford a car; give those facilities long hours seven days a week so people don't have to take unpaid time off work; don't require that IDs exactly match voter registrations, to the point that a missing middle initial disenfranchises someone; publicize well in advance the exact requirements for voting as well as the requirements and facilities for getting an ID... do all that, and sure, requiring an ID isn't at all unreasonable.

Until then, though, requiring voters to show an ID is too easily made an onerous and unequally applied block on voter participation, particularly against the poor.
posted by Etrigan at 10:37 AM on February 10 [29 favorites]


"Maybe they don't like street theatre?" - Without any one or two specific answers, I can only come away from this with the impression that the far left is making the same old noise, and NC is experiencing normal transfer of power.
posted by Ardiril at 10:38 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


@rikschell: Voter ID laws have strong support among all demographics:

Voter ID: 71 Percent of Latino Voters Support Legislation Poll Says

Even voters who self-identify as "very liberal" overwhelmingly support Voter ID laws:

65% of 'very liberal' voters support Voter ID - Marist Poll for McClatchy on Voting Rights, 7/25/13
posted by republican at 10:38 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Living in the Triangle is especially frustrating right now because so many people are working incredibly hard to raise awareness…but most of the state, not to mention the country, doesn't seem to care or actually supports what the ideologues in Raleigh are up to.

I haven't been in North Carolina in 20 years (NCSU class of '93), so I can't say I'm fully up-to-date with it culturally, but when I was there that was a VERY apt description of NC back when it was Jesseland. You had the Triangle (Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh) with Cary glued onto the bottom of it as a reservoir to catch incoming Yankees headed to work at RTP. We used to say that if you fired a tennis ball from a rocket launcher in any direction from that region, it'd land in a tobacco field.

It's disturbing to see that the regressives are back on top again.
posted by delfin at 10:39 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


good, and you'll have to do it next month, and then the next month and then the next month, getting bigger each time.

A one time march does nothing if it is not backed by showing up larger then next time.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:44 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


This was the culmination of a lot of next times. And I don't think people will just decide to stop being angry after this one occasion.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:47 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


A one time march does nothing if it is not backed by showing up larger then next time.

Unless it's a huge pep-rally and after they load up into buses bound directly for the polling places.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:47 AM on February 10


Last time I was home in Missouri, a very minor election was going on and someone called my (Catholic, center-right) mother twice offering to give her a ride to the polls if she hadn't voted yet. Who on the left does this?

Labor unions do this.
posted by univac at 10:48 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


Well, this was not a one-time march. It's both a yearly event (last year 15,000 turned out) and part of the Moral Mondays movement (read the FPP) that has been growing ever since it started. And it looks like it will continue to grow.

And republican, many of us think that civil rights issues should not be subject to popular vote.
posted by rikschell at 10:48 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Why this is not happening all across this country is beyond me.
posted by xammerboy at 10:48 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


The reason there's a right wing government in a state that voted Obama in a presidential election is that radical left would rather do street theater than organize and vote in the actual off-year elections.
posted by overhauser


Uh, yeah, the reason starts with Gerry and ends with Mandering.

From the link above:
North Carolina 2012 House Results. Of 13 Districts, 4 were won by Democratic candidates.

If you tally all the votes, you will see that the Republicans totaled 2,143,118 votes, and the Democrats totaled 2,219,165. So despite the people feeling that Democrats should have 50.87% of the vote, they only won 30.76% of the races. This is Gerrymandering.
posted by fings

posted by yoga at 10:50 AM on February 10 [28 favorites]


xammerboy, because in most states the GOP isn't pushing too hard on the middle class, content to demonize the poor. I'm a small business owner, and the legislature is making it really hard for people like me, not to mention teachers (my parents were teachers. don't fuck with teachers.)
posted by rikschell at 10:51 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Voter ID laws have strong support among all demographics:

Voter ID: 71 Percent of Latino Voters Support Legislation Poll Says

Even voters who self-identify as "very liberal" overwhelmingly support Voter ID laws:

65% of 'very liberal' voters support Voter ID - Marist Poll for McClatchy on Voting Rights, 7/25/13


I'll just respond the same way I did the last time this polling canard was brought up:

[They support voter ID u]nless you ask them if their concerns are over voter suppression in the form of stuff like traveling 200 miles and/or paying for the privilege. If you've got polling showing they prefer that, or that they don't support free and easily accessible voter ID versus that, I'd be interested to see it.

Of course, according to those polls, the American people also want early voting, Sunday voting, and same-day registration. Most or all of those are restricted by laws put in place by Republicans alongside voter ID.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:53 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


Who on the left does this?

Labor unions do this.


*takes another bite of sandwich* Yep, definitely gonna have a problem there too.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:53 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


If you tally all the votes, you will see that the Republicans totaled 2,143,118 votes, and the Democrats totaled 2,219,165. So despite the people feeling that Democrats should have 50.87% of the vote, they only won 30.76% of the races.

I wonder if there's an elections lawyer here who can tell us whether this is, or whether there's such a thing as, prima facie gerrymandering. This is outside my area of law, but it's a curious point. Because depending how you zoom and where, you might see gerrymandering or you might see smaller communities expressing a will different from what the larger statewide community might want. (We see the latter in MA often. I understand it's true in CA as well.)
posted by cribcage at 10:59 AM on February 10


And, yes, all previous arrests were planned. Volunteers interrupted the legislature, trying to slow down the train wreck. No one was arrested at this weekend's march.

Yes, the arrests at the Moral Mondays last year were very orderly. People volunteered ahead of time to be arrested, and when it came time for the arrests both the police and the protest organizers made it very clear what to do if you wanted to be arrested vs. what to do if you did not want to be arrested.
posted by aka burlap at 11:13 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Gerrymandering isn't illegal. The courts are fine with redrawing districts for political gain as long as it's not explicitly based on race. Disadvantaging a political party is perfectly fine.
posted by fogovonslack at 11:15 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


^ well that's good to know. *bangs head on desk*
posted by yoga at 11:35 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


I don't know if the statement was inaccurate (surely there must have been something larger between the two?)

The 1967 March on the Pentagon.

Arguably, the Million Man March in 1995. Also co-sponsored by the NAACP.
posted by Jahaza at 11:43 AM on February 10


Is it really that unreasonable to ask voters to show an ID?

Not at all -- if you're also willing to make it as easy as possible for people to get IDs


Even if we remove every conceivable barrier to getting an ID, I'm still not OK with denying the vote to people who forget their wallets or whatever on election day.

Until the recent spate of voter ID laws, allowing registered voters to cast their votes without presenting any form of ID at all was the way most places in the United States have always operated. You prove residency and eligibility at the time of registration, but afterward, you sign next to your name in the list of voters at your polling place, and that's that. Asking voters to prove their residency every single time they vote is a new requirement that is purely intended to disenfranchise, and it is bullshit.
posted by asperity at 11:44 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


I wish the moral mondays movement luck. The Democratic party in the state has been in shambles since 2010. The party's chairman just fired the well-respected electoral director, right as Hagan's campaign needs to be ramping up.

But hey, at least the Duke-UNC game is this Wednesday.
posted by Vhanudux at 11:44 AM on February 10


Actually, you're not technically allowed to redistrict or restrict voting rights based on political party, either, since it violates the 1st Amendment. The upside is that places like NC (and Texas, and Pennsylvania, and all the others trying to suppress voters) aren't being particularly circumspect about explicitly targeting minorities/women/poor/Democrat voters. The downside is that the conservative majority of SCOTUS has essentially stopped enforcing this in a number of decisions, including Vieth v. Jubelirer, which was in many ways a precursor to Shelby v. Holder.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:48 AM on February 10


Uh, yeah, the reason starts with Gerry and ends with Mandering.

Gerrymandering only happened because the left failed the 2010 state-level midterm election. Democratic majority = Democrat-biased gerrymandering. Republican majority = Republican-biased gerrymandering. Fail to vote, and you lose. Basic politics.
posted by overhauser at 11:52 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


zf, that article itself only claims "it violates the 1st amendment".
posted by Ardiril at 11:53 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


But hey, at least the Duke-UNC game is this Wednesday.

This comment is on topic because we're discussing underdogs fighting against the forces of evil.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:54 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Uh, yeah, the reason starts with Gerry and ends with Mandering

That's a nontrivial component for sure. But even randomly-drawn districts show a bias towards the Republicans because of how likely-Democratic and likely-Republican voters are distributed geographically (I forget the cite for this though).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:57 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


zf, that article itself only claims "it violates the 1st amendment".

From the article:
It is a a clear violation of the First Amendment, which absolutely prohibits viewpoint discrimination.
In all cases, either someone has said "this is to hurt Democrats/help Republicans" (and you can substitute minority/white and others in other cases) or the overwhelming preponderance of evidence has proven this to be the case. There has not, as yet, been any example of the types of laws being passed having significant impacts on voter fraud, and plentiful evidence that the number of votes (potential and actual) being suppressed is several orders of magnitudes larger than extant voter fraud.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:01 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


that article itself only claims "it violates the 1st amendment".

It also links to a 2004 decision that seems to briefly discuss and then dismiss that claim. The decision seems to back up Fogovonslack ("We...decline to adjudicate these political gerrymandering claims."). Granted, that's just one case and I don't know to what extent it remains good law. I'm not in a position to disagree with the author—who, it appears, is at least some manner of elections lawyer—but his argument seems problematic based on what he's citing.
posted by cribcage at 12:03 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


This country was founded on the principle of giving power not just to people, but to land (the Senate, for instance). Wyoming gets more say per capita than California. It can work on a micro scale that way in states, too. And it's one reason I can't get so worked up over the "corporations are people, too" brouhaha. The USA has always been astoundingly bad at the simple principle of "one person, one vote."
posted by rikschell at 12:04 PM on February 10


Is it really that unreasonable to ask voters to show an ID?

Not at all -- if you're also willing to make it as easy as possible for people to get IDs

Even if we remove every conceivable barrier to getting an ID, I'm still not OK with denying the vote to people who forget their wallets or whatever on election day.


I think that there should be at least some responsibility placed on the voter. To me, remembering one's ID (note that one of my stipulations to requiring ID at the polling place was "publicize well in advance the exact requirements for voting as well as the requirements and facilities for getting an ID") is along the same lines as remembering that the election is going on. I wouldn't feel real good about letting someone come to the county clerk a week after the election and say, "I forgot it was election day last Tuesday, and now I want to vote."

There isn't a nationwide conspiracy to make poor people forget their wallets.
posted by Etrigan at 12:10 PM on February 10


1. This isn't about and was never about "people forgetting their wallets."

2. For a while I had no physical license, because it got lost in the mail on the way from the DMV. I do have a passport, however. The address in my passport is no longer valid, because I moved and there's no reason I should need to get a new one, because the passport itself is still valid. But, were I still an NC voter, I would not have been allowed to vote with my perfectly legitimate, government-issued, non-expired photo ID.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:20 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


The USA has always been astoundingly bad at the simple principle of "one person, one vote." lacked a consensus that strict majoritarianism is ideal.
posted by Jahaza at 12:21 PM on February 10


Finally: North Carolina used to have truly incredible early voting. When I was in college, I had WEEKS in which I could go to the early voting station and vote whenever I wanted. This is, of course, no more.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:21 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


The address in my passport is no longer valid - What you describe then is not so much proof of identity but proof of residency.
posted by Ardiril at 12:24 PM on February 10


  someone called my … mother twice offering to give her a ride to the polls if she hadn't voted yet. Who on the left does this?

fyi, this is how Rob Ford got in: he called, and got people out to vote.

NC's regime sounds messed up. I have a friend who is a mild-mannered banjo dealer by day in NC, but has been arrested at similar protests.
posted by scruss at 12:28 PM on February 10


There isn't a nationwide conspiracy to make poor people forget their wallets.

The reason I return to this as an example is because it's happened to me, and I have come within a few minutes of being denied the right to vote because I forgot my wallet on election day, not because I think that the right to vote is a trivial thing. While I had certainly registered to vote well in advance of the election, I ran afoul of our newly-approved-by-SCOTUS voter ID law, and if I hadn't had someone at home to call to grab my wallet and meet me at the poll in a hurry, I wouldn't have voted that day. (I'd walked to the polling place, as I always do -- no driver's license required for that.)

Poor people aren't any more likely to forget their wallets than rich people. But poor people are a lot more likely to have problems as a result -- for example, you stopped to vote on the way to your job that docks your pay or terminates you if you're five minutes late. On that day, that was the sort of job I had, and I had to get to work on time (and the polls would be closed when my shift was over).

Voter ID requirements are just one more barrier among many, and they're a lousy way to try to solve a nonexistent problem.
posted by asperity at 12:30 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


It's worth mentioning again: NC's voter ID bill is just part of the plan to reduce votes. GOP-controlled county boards of elections are eliminating polling places so over 9,000 voters in (I'm sure coincidentally) the one part of Western NC that went for Obama in 2012 now have only one polling place, off-campus:

Boone voters must share lone polling place

At their August 12 meeting, the Watauga County Board of Elections, made up of two Republicans and one Democrat, voted to combine Boone’s three precincts into one. This means the polling place at the Plemmons Student Union on campus will no longer be used for voting of any kind. Starting in November, the only polling place open in Boone on election day will be at the Watauga County Agricultural Center on the town’s west side.

The move makes it harder for students to vote...Part of Poplar Grove Road, which is one way the Watauga County elections director recommends getting from campus to the polling place, has no sidewalks. Another route to the center, up King Street, would require voters to walk down a gravel driveway on a hillside, or through the parking lot of an ambulance garage-- the latter is not recommended by the elections director.

The precinct now has 9,340 active and inactive voters in it. That makes it, according to Democracy North Carolina, the third largest precinct in the state. The polling place has 28 parking spaces...

“I cannot say that it would save time or money,” said Jane Ann Hodges, who has been Watauga County’s Elections Director for 27 years. She said the changes themselves would not make elections more efficient. “It would be challenging for us to vote 9,000 people in one location,” she said.


The likelihood of longer lines takes on a very mean cast when you realize the NC GOP's so-called "Voter ID" bill also removed (for some enlightened reason) the power of local county boards of election to decide to stay open later if there are any problems. And you can bet we'll see some shenanigans with precinct changes, too - "Voter ID" also eliminated provisional ballots for folks who go to the wrong precinct, so watch as the GOP makes sure lots of folks in certain areas go to the wrong precinct on election day. Seriously, watch. It'll happen.
posted by mediareport at 12:33 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


The address in my passport is no longer valid

That's why you write it in there in pencil, not in pen.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:40 PM on February 10


fyi, this is how Rob Ford got in: he called, and got people out to vote.

Oh god, Rob Ford's gotten into NC politics now too?!?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:45 PM on February 10


@asperity: "I'm still not OK with denying the vote to people who forget their wallets or whatever on election day."

You can still cast a provisional ballot. Nobody is being denied the right to vote.
posted by republican at 12:50 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


You can still cast a provisional ballot. Nobody is being denied the right to vote.

Actually, they got rid of provisional ballots as well.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:55 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


Lots and lots and lots of people are systematically being denied the right to vote, by placing multiple barriers--hard-to-get ID, ID that is rejected, long lines--in their way that, surprise surprise, disproportionately affect the poor and people of colour.

But you know that, of course.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:56 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


Last time I was home in Missouri, a very minor election was going on and someone called my (Catholic, center-right) mother twice offering to give her a ride to the polls if she hadn't voted yet. Who on the left does this?


ACORN used to do this.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:58 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


It's kind of surreal when one has to look back to the end of Reconstruction to see a state legislature so systematically work to erect barriers and obstacles to keep people from voting. Surreal, and disgusting.
posted by Atreides at 1:04 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Is it really that unreasonable to ask voters to show an ID?

Ohio's Secretary of State John Husted has been forced to admit that there is no conspiracy or organization behind voter fraud in his state, now that a review of the 5.63 million total votes cast in 2012 showed that just 17 non-citizens voted.

At a minimum it's certainly an unreasonable use of time, money and resources. Ohio is one of the biggest flashpoints in the voter fraud/voter ID debates. How few cases of voter fraud does the GOP have to uncover before they drop this farce?

(I wanted to link to a less partisan source for the report but it seems to have slipped below the radar of the usual GOP sources. Snopes debunks a variety of other claims here.)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:09 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


I never understand why these big rallies make progressives feel so wonderful. What did the pro-union demonstrations do to stop Scott Walker and his GOP cohorts in Wisconsin? Did any of the Occupy movements achieve any social change whatever? What, if anything, will be the planned outcome of these marches in North Carolina?

For the middle of the road voters, who swing every election everywhere, these demonstrations are alienating and make perfectly reasonable positions seem far left.

Meanwhile, I long to see some people who are zeroed in on what will make achievable change happen -- credible candidates, assistance to anyone who needs help getting over the most recent voting obstacles, and grass roots organizing and campaigning efforts. It is either that or know that the rightists in NC are going to be smirking at the uselessness of these marches.
posted by bearwife at 1:11 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


It's kind of surreal when one has to look back to the end of Reconstruction to see a state legislature so systematically work to erect barriers and obstacles to keep people from voting. Surreal, and disgusting.

Hmm, you mean the last time the Republicans controlled the NC legislature?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:13 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Last time I was home in Missouri, a very minor election was going on and someone called my (Catholic, center-right) mother twice offering to give her a ride to the polls if she hadn't voted yet. Who on the left does this?

I've done that three times: 2004 for Kerry, 2006 for US Rep Altmire and 2008 for Obama. That's pretty standard day of the election GOTV stuff.
posted by octothorpe at 1:24 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


@The 10th Regiment of Foot: "Actually, they got rid of provisional ballots as well."

Really? Where did you hear that?

"...Are absentee ballots and provisional ballots only counted when the election contest is tied or the results are close?

No. All ballots are counted in the official election results."

(via North Carolina State Board of Elections)
posted by republican at 1:36 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, I long to see some people who are zeroed in on what will make achievable change happen -- credible candidates, assistance to anyone who needs help getting over the most recent voting obstacles, and grass roots organizing and campaigning efforts.

If you think these efforts are so insufficient, what are you doing instead? That's not sarcasm, I am completely serious. Because if there is something I can do to remove the malignant cancer infecting my home state, I would dearly love to throw all of my money at it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:40 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Wow, you'd have to be a pretty reprehensible human being to agree to any of what is going on NC, regarding the legislature's agenda. Bunch of chicken shits, scared of the poors and the brown.
posted by maxwelton at 1:43 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


You can still cast a provisional ballot. Nobody is being denied the right to vote.

Y'know, they didn't offer me the option, and being on the verge of late to a job I couldn't afford to be late to, I did not have time to go through the lengthy and unfamiliar-to-pollworkers provisional ballot process. And that was at a polling place with no line whatsoever. If I had not had someone to bring me my ID, I would have had to choose between keeping my job and exercising my right to vote.

Also, given the rules in the state I was living in at the time, I had no reason to believe a provisional ballot would ever get counted with the regular ones. I might never find out if it didn't, and would have had no recourse even if I had been able to find out. There's something in the rules (IN, not NC, we had this voter ID crap there first, and I'd apologize for it if I'd voted for the people responsible) about a way to find out much later, but I don't know whether that part's applicable.

Part of having a trustworthy democracy is knowing that you can vote if you're an eligible voter, and that if you vote, your vote gets counted with all the rest, using exactly the same procedure. Kinda takes the shine off waiting for election results when you've got no notion whether your vote got counted.
posted by asperity at 2:03 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Wow, you'd have to be a pretty reprehensible human being to agree to any of what is going on NC, regarding the legislature's agenda. Bunch of chicken shits, scared of the poors and the brown.

They're not at all scared of the poors. They're visibly intent on creating a lot more of them.

...unless you mean the poors who haven't spent the last decades being taught by legions of radio hosts, TV pundits, newspaper columnists, authors, bloggers, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Club For Growth, an assortment of preachers, and Ted Nugent that the only reason _they're_ not rich is that the OTHER poors -- you know, the caddy-driving welfare queens and the lazy bums and the druggies and liberal scum and assorted other malcontents -- are stealing away all the money and influence that is JUSTIFIABLY THEIRS and that makes God and Jesus cry at night.

Yeah, those poors they don't like much.
posted by delfin at 2:05 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Really? Where did you hear that?

NC backslides on voting rights by disqualifying 'right church, wrong pew' ballots
A report released this week by the Fair Elections Legal Network finds that North Carolina is one of only 22 states that fully reject ballots cast in the wrong precinct. The other 28 states either count some portion of the ballot or have a same-day registration safety net so voters never cast from the wrong polling place.

Of those 28 states, 17 will partially count a ballot, meaning some or all of the candidates the "wrong pew" voter selected will count so long as that voter lives within the jurisdiction of the person he or she voted for. For example, a voter could be in his or her home county, but vote at the wrong precinct or polling place, perhaps due to a recent move. That person's votes cast for, say, U.S. president or senator would count, since he or she is in the right jurisdiction. But if the person voted for a city council candidate for a district he or she doesn’t live in, then that part of the ballot would not count, though the rules vary among the states.

In the other 11 states, if a voter mistakenly shows up at the wrong precinct, then thanks to same-day registration he or she could simply correct the information at the polling place.

According to FELN, 45,376 ballots nationwide were completely rejected in the 2012 general election because they were cast in the wrong precinct or wrong county.

North Carolina used to be among the majority of states that helped “wrong pew” voters. Before VIVA was passed, the state not only had same-day registration but also counted the eligible votes on a provisional ballot cast in the correct county but incorrect precinct. According to FELN, in the 2012 elections this helped save 6,700 votes across North Carolina that otherwise would have been thrown out.

But since passing the new law, says FELN, North Carolina has "traded places" with Illinois, once notorious for elections corruption. Now, as one of the 28 states that partially count “wrong pew” provisional ballots, Illinois is "making progress on behalf of voters" while North Carolina is "backsliding," according to the report.

The Justice Department's complaint filed against VIVA asserts that North Carolina's elimination of the provisional ballot safety net and same-day registration will have a disproportionate impact on black voters in the state.

"Data from past elections indicate that prohibiting the counting of provisional ballots cast in the voter's county, but outside the voter's home precinct, will likely mean the rejection of several thousand votes that would have been counted in prior elections, and indicate that African-American voters can be expected to cast disproportionately more of these rejected ballots than white voters," states the complaint.
The TL;DR is that if you show up at the wrong place to cast a provisional ballot they won't count it, nor will they allow you to correct the information, nor will they count votes that don't depend on precinct.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:07 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


150 years and these assholes are acting like they won the Civil War.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:18 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


So even without a photo ID, you can still cast a provisional ballot.

But if you vote in the wrong precinct it won't count. Imagine that.

"...With the change, North Carolina comes in line with a majority of other states, Lewis said."
posted by republican at 2:20 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


22/50 is not a majority.

Voter suppression is an actual thing that is actually occurring. From your username I'm sure we can all figure out why you're pretending it's not happening, but reality disagrees with you.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:22 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


"...With the change, North Carolina comes in line with a majority of other states, Lewis said."

Doesn't mean that's a good thing.
posted by marxchivist at 2:29 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


"...I’ve talked to Democrats, Republicans – liberals and conservatives – and it starts to create an administrative problem,” he said, referring to the use of provisional ballots outside correct precincts...
- Doug Lewis, the executive director of the nonpartisan National Association of State Election Directors
posted by republican at 2:30 PM on February 10


If you think these efforts are so insufficient, what are you doing instead?

I'm happy to open my wallet too and have done that plenty in every election cycle, not infrequently for candidates in other states. NC is not my home state, but I'd be glad to support voter turnout efforts and credible candidates there.

My point is that's what makes for change and good policy, not rallies. Rallies work just about as well as election boycotts.
posted by bearwife at 2:34 PM on February 10


So even without a photo ID, you can still cast a provisional ballot.

Where do you see that?

But if you vote in the wrong precinct it won't count. Imagine that.

Yes, 28 states do. And none of them have had massive outbreaks of basic voter fraud accusations, let alone actual fraud.

"...With the change, North Carolina comes in line with a majority of other states, Lewis said."

I see you didn't read the link I provided, which specifically addressed Lewis' claim.


"...I’ve talked to Democrats, Republicans – liberals and conservatives – and it starts to create an administrative problem,” he said, referring to the use of provisional ballots outside correct precincts...
- Doug Lewis, the executive director of the nonpartisan National Association of State Election Directors


And? The guy's already proven to be factually incorrect on one easily-verifiable point of the law, why should I believe that he's actually heard about this when no one else has?

But, hey, why exactly do you support spending taxpayer dollars on financing a scheme that has an effectiveness rate numbering somewhere in the fractions of a fraction of a percent? There are 44 times as many people who die from lightning strikes. There are 3600(!) times as many people who have seen a UFO. Would you suggest the government build fantastical weather control machines or restart Project Blue Book?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:35 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


"...I’ve talked to Democrats, Republicans – liberals and conservatives – and it starts to create an administrative problem,” he said, referring to the use of provisional ballots outside correct precincts...
- Doug Lewis, the executive director of the nonpartisan National Association of State Election Directors


So on the one hand we have the potential disenfranchisement of thousands, and on the other we have "administrative problems." You know, elections themselves are such administrative headaches- why not just do away with them altogether?

Oh right, because the government has a responsibility to deal with these problems so that everyone can vote.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:36 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


republican: "- Doug Lewis, the executive director of the nonpartisan National Association of State Election Directors"

You mean this Doug Lewis?

"Until recently, very little information has been available about Lewis's career prior to joining the Election Center. What little information was available from biographies sanctioned by Lewis appears to have been spun to talk up his extremely slim Democratic credentials (he worked for Democrat defector John Connally), and has neglected to mention his very solid Republican credentials (he was executive secretary of the Republican Party in Kansas, executive director and finance director of the Texas Republican Party, and ran the 1976 Gerald Ford reelection bid in Texas)."
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:37 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Voter ID requirements are just one more barrier among many, and they're a lousy way to try to solve a nonexistent problem.

I agree that they're not a solution to this nonexistent problem. But I also don't think that they're an inherently bad thing, and here's why:

Part of having a trustworthy democracy is knowing that you can vote if you're an eligible voter, and that if you vote, your vote gets counted with all the rest, using exactly the same procedure. (emphasis added)

The "if" you have in that first clause is the issue here. There are many, many things that should go higher on the priority list for any legislature, and voter ID should absolutely not be required until those other things are solved, making it as easy as possible for people to get their IDs and get to the polls. I just think that rejecting the existence of any voter ID requirement -- again, with the proviso that getting such ID is free (in every way) and easy enough that literally everyone can do it -- is as wrongheaded as rejecting any firearm licensing requirement because of FREEDOM.
posted by Etrigan at 2:44 PM on February 10


I just think that rejecting the existence of any voter ID requirement -- again, with the proviso that getting such ID is free (in every way) and easy enough that literally everyone can do it -- is as wrongheaded as rejecting any firearm licensing requirement because of FREEDOM.

My answer to that is that there is no more fundamental right than the right to vote (I mean, I'd rather quarter soldiers on my sofa than miss even a municipal election) and even the slightest barrier beyond what's absolutely necessary (an affirmation that I am a registered voter in this precinct) at the polling station is antidemocratic. Furthermore, there is no competing interest (like public safety for firearms) that we need to balance here, considering that we haven't got any significant evidence that ineligible people are casting votes. (And while you are not advocating this sort of thought at all, it's fairly clear from everything the voter ID advocates say that their competing interest is basically "too many people might vote in a way I don't like.")

I'm happy to speak for the less-than-sympathetic flaky voters who tend to forget everything but that it's election day, and dammit, I did the research on my local issues and I intend to see that my vote is counted. Any attempt to narrow the voting population with extraneous requirements far beyond what have been traditionally required is an attempt to narrow my forgetful, flaky self right out of a vote. And the hell with that.
posted by asperity at 3:02 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


To me it's like... ok, the government needs a way to know whether or not someone is a voter, and that involves some sort of administrative labor at some point. Voter ID laws place that burden almost completely on the voter, to preemptively prove they can vote. There is another option, which is to place that burden on the state to prove that a person has voted illegally. This would probably let some illegal votes through, but not a fraction of a fraction of the perfectly legitimate votes it would allow to be cast.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:02 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Traditionally all the work on ensuring eligibility is done on the registration end of things. Same-day registration is a great tool for expanding the franchise to everyone eligible, but it does put more of a burden on the individual pollworker than the simple "sign your name in the box right here next to your name and we'll compare your signature" method that we've used since... well, since my grandmother (pollworker for decades!) started voting.

I'm not opposed to the use of tools like voter ID requirements in states that offer same-day registration. But for those of us who've already registered, it's far beyond what we used to have to do to vote, and there's absolutely no reason for this burdensome change.
posted by asperity at 3:08 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Gerrymandering only happened because the left failed the 2010 state-level midterm election. Democratic majority = Democrat-biased gerrymandering. Republican majority = Republican-biased gerrymandering. Fail to vote, and you lose. Basic politics.
posted by overhauser


Yeah, thanks for that enlightening tip. I've voted in every.single.election since 1980. National and local. I've campaigned, I've driven people to the polls, I've helped others vote early. How does this make me lose, exactly?

I'm not saying democrats are pristine. But they are not deliberately fear mongering, crisis manufacturing shitheads completely stuck in some past century than this one.
posted by yoga at 3:14 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


The GOP should be worried about voter fraud:

Another Republican convicted of felony voter fraud
Villamaino pleaded guilty to voter fraud charges Monday. He admitted to changing the party affiliations and requesting absentee ballots of nearly 300 people in East Longmeadow, a move that could have improved his chances of winning the Republican Primary for State Representative.

Shocker: Republicans Account For Most Cases Of U.S. Voter Fraud
The irony of the big GOP push for voter ID laws seems to be that when it comes to actual voter fraud, Republicans are often the ones who are most responsible. Consider the following examples of voter fraud that have been committed over the past few years:
GOP registration worker charged with voter fraud
A campaign worker linked to a controversial Republican consulting firm has been arrested in Virginia and charged with throwing voter registration forms into a dumpster.

The suspect, Colin Small, 31, was described by a local law enforcement official as a "supervisor" in a Republican Party financed operation to register voters in Rockingham County in rural Virginia, a key swing state in the Nov. 6 election.

RNC cuts ties with firm over voter fraud allegations
Election officials in six Florida counties are investigating what appears to be "hundreds” of cases of suspected voter fraud by a GOP consulting firm that has been paid nearly $3 million by the Republican National Committee to register Republican voters in five key battleground states, state officials tell NBC.

Iowa Republican debunks his own voter fraud claims
owa Secretary of State Matt Schultz has been a big proponent of voter ID and many of the other “voting reform” efforts that look a lot like voter suppression. Since taking office in 2011 he has repeatedly invoked voter fraud as a justification for those effects, but after spending $150,000 on an official state investigation, he’s uncovered five definitive cases of fraud.

That’s the finding of a report from the Des Moines Register, which tracked the results of the voter fraud investigation he directed the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to start in July 2012. Sixteen cases were passed along to local county officials by the DCI: five led to guilty pleas; five have been dismissed; the rest are pending.

More reading at The New Yorker
The Voter-Fraud Myth - The man who has stoked fear about impostors at the polls

And these are only some of results from the first page Google returned.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:19 PM on February 10 [32 favorites]


There is another option, which is to place that burden on the state to prove that a person has voted illegally.

How do you propose to do that without destroying the secrecy of each voter's ballot?
posted by Etrigan at 3:26 PM on February 10


"...With the change, North Carolina comes in line with a majority of other states, Lewis said."

Oh please. Leaving aside that Lewis is blatantly lying in that statement, if the 28 states info above is true, one of the NC GOP changes was eliminating college student IDs as valid photo identification at the polls. According to this map most (35) states allow student IDs as voter IDs (more on various restrictions here).

republican, are you willing to support the reversal of NC's new rejection of student IDs on the same grounds you were supporting the rejection of provisional ballots above? I ask to see if you're the kind of member who cares about consistency and admits mistakes, or are the kind of member who just throws partisan garbage at the wall to see what sticks. Of course, if the chart I linked has incorrect info, I'll be happy to admit that and find another example.

Bottom line: the "We're just bringing NC in line with how most other states do it" logic is a primary talking point for the NC GOP when defending their Voter ID bill, but it's logic they themselves completely ignore (or, as in Lewis' case, outright lie about) when the changes they're making do not, in fact, bring NC into line with what the majority of other states are doing.
posted by mediareport at 3:31 PM on February 10


How do you propose to do that without destroying the secrecy of each voter's ballot?

That's basically how they do provisional ballots (at least in the one state I examined, Indiana). There is a tie from the ballot to the identity of the voter, and the state reviews that identifying info before releasing those ballots for counting. I have no desire to cast a provisional ballot for this reason, and similarly, in spite of the convenience factor, I don't like voting absentee either, even though my current state is now sending absentee ballots to every registered voter in the state in statewide elections.

My most recent election involved just dropping the provided absentee ballot off at my polling station, and that was the only option. So I suppose allowing the state to do that check after the fact rather than before really wouldn't change anything at all, and improving voter access is a good thing.
posted by asperity at 3:39 PM on February 10


According to this map most (35) states allow student IDs as voter IDs

To be more clear, that includes states that don't have voter ID laws, but the point stands: only a minority of states require anything more than a student ID for a student to vote.

Here's another source that says 34 states have some form of voter ID law, and based on the descriptions, at least 12 allow some form of student ID (although some, like Wisconsin, have additional restrictions like "an expiration date no later than 2 years after the election"). Again, in most states students can vote with nothing more than a student ID, or no ID at all.

How exactly is NC's rejection of all forms of student ID bringing it "in line with a majority of other states" again? And no, Republican wet dreams of a future where no college students vote don't count.
posted by mediareport at 3:52 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Who on the left does this?

Labor unions do this.

ACORN used to do this.

Every campaign I've volunteered for does this. This is not a thing that the left doesn't do; if you want to drive voters to the polls, hie thee to your campaign of choice and volunteer for them instead of bitching on the internet about campaigns on the left not doing things that, surprise, they actually do, and could very much use your help doing.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:04 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


How do you propose to do that without destroying the secrecy of each voter's ballot?

That's easy enough. Punishing someone for illegally voting and ensuring the correctness of election results are orthogonal.

If a jury is convinced that someone voted illegally, punish them. Then look at the precinct they voted illegally in. Were any of those races either a tie or a one-vote victory? If not, there's no error to rectify. If so, though the odds of this are miniscule, allow the state or locality to re-run the election.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:34 PM on February 10


150 years and these assholes are acting like they won the Civil War.

Republicans did win the Civil War.

And the Civil Rights crusade a hundred years later.
posted by Hatashran at 6:24 PM on February 10


For the middle of the road voters, who swing every election everywhere, these demonstrations are alienating and make perfectly reasonable positions seem far left.
Really? I hadn't heard that. At the Asheville Moral Monday protest I attended, which was the largest one before the one last week, the park was full of middle of the road voters - teachers, mostly. Here are my pictures. You tell me how far left they are - I'd say it's less freaks per square foot than anyone usually sees on an average Asheville afternoon. I heard person after person say, wow, I had no idea other people felt this way! I didn't know I wasn't alone! Consciousness raising - and inclusion - is what leads to action. And yes, the NC Democrats, messed up though they may be, are doing all the stuff in your little checklist too, including running quite a credible candidate, so thanks for the offer of a donation.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:48 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Sorry, I lose my temper in these threads. As an NC progressive it's just so incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking to watch these yahoos take what was the most progressive state in the South and turn it into I don't even know what. A low rent version of Mississippi. And obviously, yes, the Democrats have a lot to answer for - if we had been doing what we should have been doing, than Art Pope and the Koch brothers should not have been able to buy our state outright from under us. However, that is exactly what happened and I would not be so sure, blue state people, that it could not also happen to you.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:13 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


> I checked the Google News and found that USA Today and the San Fransisco Chronicle carried stories on the march in Raleigh - otherwise the coverage was by local N.C. media

Raleigh's newspaper of record didn't consider the Sunday demonstration important enough to put on the front page yesterday despite is size. (link is probably only good for a couple more hours; the Newseum cycles its images daily.) Instead, the headline above the fold was "GOP Split on Immigration", and below it: "Exultation for Anderson" (feature photo on an American Olympic winner); "During 24 icy hours, woman clung to prayer"; "Writing pioneer, teacher Rubin honored".
posted by ardgedee at 3:01 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


And the Civil Rights crusade a hundred years later.

If you mean by recruiting all the disenfrancised bigots into their ranks, then yes, they called it the "Southern Strategy". If you mean by getting some of their members to vote for legislation introduced by northern Democrats in exchange for far more credit than they deserved, well, that happened to be LBJ's strategy for getting it passed.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:39 AM on February 11


I think it's one of those "thought exercises" that is supposed to prove that Republicans were and continue to be the real civil rights advocates. It requires you ignore large parts of American history, political science (or politics in general after 1963), and regional socioeconomics, but I still see it a lot.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:26 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


I'd love to be proven wrong, of course. If it's instead a cynical takedown of that mindset, that would make sense as well.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:30 AM on February 11


Dahlia Lithwick: The Left Fights Back
Progressives are not used to so much religion in their politics. I met someone who planned to avoid Saturday’s protest because of the God talk, and it’s clear that for many liberals, it’s easier to speak openly about one’s relationship with a sexual partner than a relationship with God or spirituality. But there are a lot of liberals who live on the seam between faith and politics. And one of the core messages of Moral Mondays is that ceding all talk of faith and morality to the political right in this country has been disastrous for the left. Or as Barber put it when he spoke, those who dismiss these protesters as “violent, and losers, and leftists, and socialists” fail to understand that the great prophets of the Bible and the founders of American constitutional democracy were “violent, and losers, and leftists, and socialists,” too.

As discomfiting as it may be to hear the Bible quoted alongside the Federalist Papers, the truth remains that for most people of most faiths, kicking the poorest and most vulnerable citizens when they are down is sinful. Stealing food and medical care from the weakest Americans is ethically corrupt. And the decadeslong political wisdom that only Republicans get to define sin and morality is not just tactically wrong for Democrats. It’s also just wrong. This is a lesson progressives are slowly learning from nuns and the new pope. When we talk of cutting food stamps or gutting education for our poorest citizens, we shouldn’t just call it greed. We should call it what it is: a sin.

The other exciting component of Moral Mondays is that its leadership has worked to forge “fusion” politics that strive to undo the atomized nature of liberal activism, where climate change issues have no bearing on reproductive rights and reinstating voting rights must come at the expense of immigration reform. Barber and the Moral Mondays protests have broken down single-issue-based divisions on the left by focusing each Monday protest on one issue while enabling protesters to understand that they are all ultimately connected. Instead of fighting dozens of separate battles, Moral Mondays have made those battles everyone’s battles. As a result, at Saturday’s protest, teachers spoke of budget cuts and of women’s health; doctors spoke of insuring the poor and of the right to vote. People who arrived angry about LGBT rights in the state left angry about organized labor. Working across constituencies means that injustice for any one group becomes injustice for all.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:51 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


I met someone who planned to avoid Saturday’s protest because of the God talk, and it’s clear that for many liberals, it’s easier to speak openly about one’s relationship with a sexual partner than a relationship with God or spirituality.

Welcome to the South Dahlia, first time there? It may come as a huge surprise to Lithwick, but the people keeping liberalism (you know the the 45% that voted for Obama down there) alive in the south are churchgoers, avid churchgoers. No, they aren't the bible thumping loud mouthed types that misspell "Patriotism" on their protest sign and hand out Chick Tracts and unread copies of the Constitution, but they never miss a sunday (or saturday at the temple). I hope the person you met that was uncomfortable managed to make the north-bound bus his/her UU church chartered to bring his/her group down for the protest!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:11 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Raleigh's newspaper of record didn't consider the Sunday demonstration important enough to put on the front page yesterday

The demonstration was Saturday, ardgedee. I didn't see a print edition Sunday, but I'd be very surprised if the march didn't make the front page. I'll check when I get to work and let you know.

I did call and email the N&O yesterday, though, requesting that they start using reporters or interns or fucking *somebody* to start making crowd estimates at events like this. Aside from reporting that the police refuse to release their own estimate, the paper regularly and completely abdicates any responsibility to attempt an answer to the basic question, "how many people were actually there?" It's not that hard to triangulate a reasonable crowd estimate using rooftop photos and a small group of people counting/extrapolating and then comparing their results. That should be a key part of the job now that police almost never release crowd estimates anymore, but our local paper simply refuses to do it, leaving it to partisans to deflate/inflate as they see fit.
posted by mediareport at 8:12 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Working across constituencies means that injustice for any one group becomes injustice for all.

This. This is what democrats need to tap into.
posted by yoga at 10:53 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I'm so proud of everyone in involved with Moral Monday (especially my newly radical Mom!).

To those who have disparaged demonstrations like these because they don't accomplish political change in and of themselves I'd kindly ask: what does?

Lobbyists and political professionals of all stripes will tell you that the wheels of politics turn slowly. It takes years and years to accomplish even the most mundane tasks in American politics even if you're working within the halls of power on behalf of those with power. To challenge the power structure from the outside takes even longer and requires a huge amount of effort and public demonstrations are a vital part of that process.

Real social change takes time. Rosa Parks refused to get up out of her seat in 1955. The Freedom Rides didn't happen until 1961. The Civil Rights Act didn't pass until 1964 - almost a DECADE after Ms Parks refused to move. The struggle for black equality in America predates Ms Parks and still continues today.

In our age of instant gratification and twitter-induced 2 hour news cycles, many of us have lost touch with the reality and history of organizing for real social change. If we don't understand the process of the struggle, every normal development that isn't an "EPIC WIN" will be interpreted as supporters to be a crippling defeat and that's as frightening a development as anything Pat McCrory or a Koch Brother can do.
posted by willie11 at 11:30 AM on February 11 [7 favorites]


Real social change takes time. Rosa Parks refused to get up out of her seat in 1955. The Freedom Rides didn't happen until 1961. The Civil Rights Act didn't pass until 1964 - almost a DECADE after Ms Parks refused to move.

Except that it took only a few months for the republicans to reverse the trend, which is also social change.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:31 AM on February 11


What has happened in NC and elsewhere over the last few years is the culmination of decades of effective organizing and political advocacy by the right-wing. These things don't just happen like evil magic.
posted by willie11 at 11:36 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Two critiques though:

#1) This protest got pretty great coverage in all of the serious regional media outlets and a fair amount of national political coverage. Just because you're not on the front page of every website or the lead national news story during the Olympics doesn't mean that you're being ignored.

#2) I'd estimate that there were realistically about 20,000 people at this rally. I've spent much of my life planning and taking part in public demonstrations including several in that very area of the NC Capitol. Getting 20,000 to demonstrate for social and economic justice on a rainy winter day is pretty damn impressive. But to say that it was 100,000 is just silly.
posted by willie11 at 11:43 AM on February 11


> The demonstration was Saturday, ardgedee.

Ugh. Thus is revealed the fact I've spent the last week locked in a dark room with minimal exposure to the outside world.
posted by ardgedee at 6:16 PM on February 11


A question for y'all in NC:

Given that this organizing initiative has taken root and is growing (and going from 11k to 100k in a year looks like evidence in favor of that view), is the event-organizing infrastructure being pointed at the NC Democratic party?

Unless they have established onerous barriers to democratic representation as well, even 10% of the marchers should be sufficient to sweep out your extant Dems and replace them with march organizers. That would seem to be enough to defeat the GOP for a couple of election cycles and maybe even undo all the nonsense.

I mean, I really don't know. But in a democracy mass movements and rallies do change things. Of course, in order to do so, they have to actually gain political power via the ballot, either directly or by finding politicians who recognize their electoral potential.
posted by mwhybark at 10:44 AM on February 12


I'd estimate that there were realistically about 20,000 people at this rally.

Estimate based on what? It's not clear, but were you there? You seem to be guessing just as much as the Huffington Post. The police, who refuse to release the crowd estimates they're certainly doing for their own purposes, said only that the original permit expected 20,000 to 30,000 people. Given that most if not all of the earlier Moral Monday events underestimated the actual turnout in their permit requests, and given that everyone I've spoken with, including reporters who were there, have said that this Saturday event was much bigger than the final Moral Monday last July, which was stunningly, unexpectedly big, I find it difficult to buy a number like 20,000 simply pulled out of the air like you did.

What's your evidence?

Sure, the Huffington Post unsourced claim of 100,000 is almost certainly ridiculously inflated. *Almost* certainly. But the 20,000 number seems just as ridiculous. We were almost at those numbers at the end of last year's protests, and this one - the first march of the election year, with buses coming from across the Southeast - was clearly much, much bigger.

Again, this is why journalists at papers like the News & Observer should be doing crowd estimates themselves, using the best methodologies available. We shouldn't have to pull the numbers out of our collective ass. A couple of photographers on rooftops at various points along the rally (very easy on Fayetteville Street), a couple of interns counting heads in 10-foot square patches, and a couple of others stationed along the march route counting as folks march by, all then extrapolating and comparing their independent estimates at the end of the day, should be more than enough to get something reasonably close to the truth.
posted by mediareport at 6:40 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Oh, and as long as we're pulling numbers out of our asses, I'd offer 35,000-60,000 as a reasonable range, given local reporters' total abdication on the question.
posted by mediareport at 6:43 PM on February 13


is the event-organizing infrastructure being pointed at the NC Democratic party?

Interesting question, that. It was pointed out above that the NC Democratic Party is in a shambles, and it just shambled apart a lot more this past week. Party chair Randy Voller not only suddenly and without explanation fired the party executive director, but then announced without running it by his steering committee that the new director would be former NAACP head Ben Chavis, whom he met a year or so ago during the campaign to get a full pardon for Chavis and the rest of the wrongfully imprisoned Wilmington 10.

Sounds great, right?

No. Not great. Turns out Chavis has had multiple very public sexual harassment settlements in his past, a fact that Voller apparently didn't know when he made his single-handed decision. Oh, did I mention the sleazy male-male sexual harassment scandal that rocked the uppermost levels of the NC Democratic Party in the spring of 2012? Yeah, that's kind of relevant here.

Chavis' close association with the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan was also quite a sticking point for a lot of smarter-than-Randy-Voller political types in North Carolina, who recognized the PR (and fundraising) disaster that putting Chavis at the head of the NC Democratic Party would create (with all due respect to Chavis and disrespect to the way the Wilmington 10 were treated).

Voller had thought of none of this, and when he realized during a highly contentious conference call that the party steering committee would not give him the votes to make this completely unproductive move, instead of admitting his mistake and moving on he tried another brilliant move: baldfaced lies to the state's largest media outlets, claiming the appointment was only "interim" when that clearly had not been his intention in his own crowing announcements. It was a colossal clusterfuck, showing Voller as both an idiot *and* then a sleazy spin artist, and has handed the NC GOP a gift-wrapped scandal-ette which allows them to push Kay Hagan and Roy Cooper (running for governor) to disown Chavis' sexual harassment settlements and Nation of Islam ties, attempting to force Dem candidates to choose between endorsing Chavis, warts and all, and alienating some black voters by shunning him.

It was a disgustingly stupid series of moves from the NC Dem Party chair, at the start of what's certain to be a difficult election year, and Voller should be removed immediately before he does any more damage.

So, yeah, the NC Democratic Party needs serious help at this point. It's astonishing that clowns like Randy Voller are the best that "organized" Democrats can hold up as leaders right now.
posted by mediareport at 7:12 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Oh, also, I checked Sunday's N&O and they did not have a story about the Saturday protest on the front page. They teased it in a little box at the top of the front page and sent you to B1, the front page of the metro section, for the story.
posted by mediareport at 8:28 PM on February 13


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