Friday, July 19, 2013

NC lawmakers attack voting rights

The corporate-owned North Carolina Legislature is up to its dirty tricks again. This time, it is trying to take the vote away from its working-class political opponents.

Senate Republicans unveiled a voter suppression bill yesterday that would cut hundreds of thousands of citizens from the rolls. And -- wait for it -- a sizable majority of them are registered Democrats. The legislation would not allow student, county or municipal government identification to be used for verification purposes. Nor would public assistance photo IDs or public employee IDs be acceptable either.

Why are such changes necessary? Could it be the two voter impersonation prosecutions between 2000 and 2010? No? The answer is all in the state's numbers:
316,000 registered voters don’t have state-issued ID; 34 percent are African-American and 55 percent are registered Democrats. Of the 138,000 voters without ID who cast a ballot in the 2012 election, 36 percent were African-American and 59 registered percent Democrats. The new draft of the bill does not allow student IDs for voting, and would charge $10 to obtain an ID unless a voter signs a form saying they cannot afford it under penalty of perjury, making it among the most restrictive laws in the country.
Taking away the voting rights of the 99 percent who challenge corporate power has long been part of the master plan at American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC, the escort service connecting politicians and corporation,has a friend in Art Pope, North Carolina's budget director. Pope helped bankroll the campaign of Gov. Pat McCrory and many Republican legislators behind the voter suppression effort.
11 Moral Monday protests, 800 arrests.

With Pope pulling the strings, North Carolina is turning into an ALEC paradise as lawmakers pass bills to punish the unemployed, eradicate public education, oppress women, raise taxes on the poor and working class and eliminate environmental protections. A huge backlash is building with weekly Moral Monday protests that attract thousands of North Carolinians and massive arrests for civil disobedience. More than 800 citizens have taken arrests to protest the assault on working people. 

Look for North Carolina's lawmakers to suppress voting rights in other ways -- by slashing early voting, ending same-day voter registration and penalizing the parents of students who vote where they go to college. And look for more arrests.