As we all know this is a big election. There are more than 35 races on Wake County ballots and every one of those people elected will impact our lives. As Politicas, we believe we will make a difference by engaging our families, friends, co-workers and neighbors in the political world. It starts with voting intelligently in our own interests and then sharing information with those around you.
Do they know who is on their ballot?
How can they get more information?
When are they going to vote?
Where is their nearest early voting place? What dates and times are they open?
Do they have a neighbor who needs help voting?
Please be sure to keep reading the weekly emails as we share the information we regard as most helpful and informative.
This week we are focusing on early voting and voter registration.
The early voting comments site provided by the State Board of Elections received more than 1700 comments before it closed on Monday evening. These came from residents of the 33 counties where there was a split decision by local boards about how to provide adequate early voting hours and sites given the likely high demand for voting in this year’s election. As we know from last week’s email the process in counties was politicized by the Repulbican party who want to restrict the number of sites open for the first (restored) week and stop Sunday voting. As noted in the 4th Circuit decision these limitations disproportionately impact minority voters.
The article below lays out in depressing detail the number of counties where early voting has been cut back.
Thursday is the State Board of Elections meeting in Raleigh at which each of the 33 disputed voting cases will be heard. Press Millen, husband of Politica Siobhan Millen, will be representing the minority Democratic plans for Wake and New Hanover. We wish him luck!
Meanwhile here is the editorial from Capital Broadcasting Company on the early voting debacle.
“Enough is enough. First, North Carolina citizens are gerrymandered so extensively that the politicians picked their voters. Then, there’s an election law bill that slashes voting opportunities for African-Americans and young people. So, some politicians make it more difficult for those who might oppose them to get to the polls.
Playing these cynical games with voting shows a lack of respect for our most important right and makes a mockery of our elections.
The state’s Republican leadership, party officials and power players in the General Assembly who are responsible, say it’s just politics as usual and an appropriate part of the process.
Meanwhile the courts have said that the legislature has crafted discriminatory and unconstitutional voting laws.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections has a chance Thursday to begin to straighten to out this nonsense. It should start with the voters – and do everything possible to enable as many eligible voters as possible get to the polls.
Mark Ezzell, the Democrat on the Wake County Board of Elections, has presented a reasonable and workable plan to provide a full 17-day early-voting period. It includes provisions for two Sunday voting opportunities and additional polling places.
The state board should approve Ezzell’s proposal.
Further, Kim Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections, should recommend to the state board that it direct all local board of elections to implement early voting plans that similarly offer a full 17 days of early voting – including two Sundays – and renew efforts to reach out to young voters. Cutting back on opportunities to vote, no matter the target, is wrong.
The state Board of Elections first obligation is to uphold the rights of voters and not play politics at the ballot box. Acquiescing to political gimmicks corrupts the most basic privilege and obligation citizens have in a democracy.
Thursday the State Board of Elections should unequivocally take the side of ALL voters.
At an event this weekend, several volunteers expressed disappointment because they only got two registration forms during their shift. They had talked to lots of people and handed out at least 60 orange cards. I assured them that was GREAT and that two forms is the average number we get for one volunteer shift. Collectively, two by two, we are up to 8850 registrations in 2016! On top of that, we have educated over 70,000 voters on the logistics of voting in 2016! THANK YOU to all of you who put in hard work, two hours at a time, two forms per shift, to help us get this far. We are not done! We are 77% of the way to our goal of 11,500 registrations in the Triangle.
We now offer “individual on-site” training as well as group training. Our next group training will be September 8 from 6-7pm. Please sign up online.
We are active doing registration drives in hospitals, affordable housing projects, with PTAs, at food pantries and more. Drives are scheduled for evenings, weekends and weekdays. If you have time, we have a drive for you.
Please check out www.youcanvote.org/events for our events scheduled in Wake County. Check back regularly as new drives are being booked all the time.There is still much work to be done on Voter Registration. When we register we also educate and we have much new information to share.
WORKING THE POLLS, INSIDE & OUT
SIGN UP TO BE A VOTE PROTECTOR!!
Nonpartisan: Democracy North Carolina trains and deploys volunteers to monitor key precincts in counties all over the state on Election Day. Clad in yellow t-shirts, these Vote Protectors:
collect exit surveys,
compile reports of voting problems,
connect voters to attorneys and law students at our voter hotline (888-OUR-VOTE) at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law.
Sign up below if you’re interested in receiving more information about how to become a Vote Protector for the November 2016 election. We will contact you with details about upcoming trainings and opportunities to help voters in your community cast their ballot and make their voice heard. http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6601/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=9743
DID YOU KNOW?
· You can now view your sample ballot online https://vt.ncsbe.gov/voter_search_public/
· If you are interested in working Early Voting, or if you have a friend who is interested, there is still time to apply online! (If you have already applied, no need to reapply.) Learn more about applying to work Early Voting at http://www.evwakestaffing.com/p/learn.html
Remember to check our calendar for details on Gloria Steinem, on September 24, and Tom Ross, on September 30. Save the date for the Judicial Reception on Oct. 11!
Here are a few of our favorites from this week.
One for those who love nerdy election data, graphs and more. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/upshot/presidential-polls-forecast.html?action=click&contentCollection=upshot®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=sectionfront&smid=tw-upshotnyt&smtyp=cur&_r=0
One from the Guardian about the ‘rigged elections’ we are promised. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/06/donald-trump-rigged-election-voter-fraud-intimidation?CMP=share_btn_link
Finally a sobering reminder about the inaction on Merrick Garlands’s nomination to the Supreme Court. http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2016/09/07/its-not-too-late-for-the-u-s-senate-to-do-its-job/