North Carolina is set to pass the most extreme anti-voting law in the country
Democracy must not mean much to the conservative government of North Carolina (if it ever did). Republicans with their super majority in the state legislature have been in the news for its attempts to dismantle the democratic process by considering a bill (HB 589) that would drastically reduce voting rights in the state. North Carolina isn’t alone in this regard, but if HB 589 passes it would become the toughest anti-voting rights law in the country.
What is happening in North Carolina is not a total shock. Republican controlled states across the country have been waging an all out crusade against voting rights since 2010 and shows no signs of letting up. In fact, thanks to the Supreme Court gutting parts of the Voting Rights Act, it is indeed speeding up. At the very least, North Carolina has given us a prime example of how far the GOP is willing to go in order to cement its permanent rule in states like North Carolina and beyond.
HB 589 intends to accomplish several things. First it will implement a stringent Voter ID requirement, then it will get rid of same day voter registration, it will make it easy for groups to challenge who and should not vote. It will also increase the number of poll “observers”, force people to only vote in their specific precincts, prohibit many types of voter registration drives, weaken disclosure rules for outside spending groups, and prevent counties from extending voting hours in case of long lines.
On their own, these rules are devastating. However, collectively they create a omnibus attack on voting rights unparalleled by any other state. This is a trend that has been building up for a while.
North Carolina attempted recently to nullify the 1st amendment in order to establish a state religion and passed a heavy loaded anti-abortion law. NC has also lowered taxes on the wealthy and raised taxes on the poor.
The state has seen a slew of protests every week known as “Moral Monday” for the last several months which has now led to a thousand arrests. The moral Monday protests are mostly to protest the extreme right direction North Carolina is heading in, especially on issues like religion and state. HB 589 gives a whole different reason to start protesting.
What we should learn from North Carolina is that conservatives are willing to do what ever is necessary to damage or destroy the democratic system in order to benefit their own agenda. North Carolina is but one example, other Republican controlled states have certainly followed suit.
North Carolina is an example of what could and will happen if conservatives are allowed an open hand in tampering with the laws however they choose. They weren’t able to rig the 2012 election, but it appears future elections could be very much up for grabs. The consequences of this could reverberate for generations.
The solution to this issue is not clear nor will it be easy. The easy answer is vote the conservatives out of office, but that response will be harder if they are allowed to completely rig the voting system in their favor. It seems that the public will have to mobilize to do more than just vote in order to make the populace aware of what Republicans are up to in North Carolina.
We will need organize Moral Monday like protests to get the message across, and help it spread to other Red States.
To summarize my opinion about the voting process, I believe Howard Zinn said it best;
“Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”
The reason why people are against it is because the bulk of people who would try to vote while not having a photo ID would be poor minorities (if you can’t afford a car or to travel out of country, no reason to get a drivers license or passport), the elderly (some are to old to reliably operate a vehicle and travel), and potentially college students (school IDs are not valid, but most will likely have a drivers license, so cutting voter registration drives would be more for targeting them). While the elderly usually lean towards republicans, poor minorities and HS/college age students tend to lean Democrat.
Please, don’t slam me but I seriously don’t see what the problem is with requiring photo ID. Is it because some people can’t afford to purchase a photo ID? I think it’s a good idea, know your voter. But do want to know why people are against it. Thanks.
L Dean, study up on Theocracy, Fascism, Despotism. Really read FACTS regarding these dangerous ways of being controlled by our government. Restricting voting rights is ALL about the Republicans REAL bottom line, to gain control in order to implement Fascism, Despotism, etc. This iron fist of ruling over ALL of us affects EVERYBODY except the extremely wealthy. When people vote Republican they have NO idea that they are actually voting AGAINST their own good because they are so brainwashed by lies. People need to wake up, ALL pull together to fight this SERIOUS problem!! They want us to fight amongst ourselves “Divide and Conquer” which is how they weaken and distract US from THEIR true agendas, helping THEM move forward with DESTROYING DEMOCRACY, FREEDOMS, RIGHTS as we have known them !!! This is very SERIOUS stuff !!
The real bottom line is NOT the parties but the fact that the whole of government is completely bought off! The noose is slowly being wrapped around the neck of all Americans and these petty little battles are merely a distraction as Tyranny envelops the country!
“When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence” Gary Lloyd