Students targeted by Republican controlled Board of Elections in North Carolina
North Carolina Republican Governor McCrory installed more Republicans on the State Board of Elections when he took office, and the State Board of Elections subsequently changed local NC County Board of Elections. The result is that many North Carolina local Board of Elections are now Republican-led and they have been consolidating democratic-leaning precincts and removing polling places from colleges. There are 100 local NC Elections Boards.
Wautauga County and Pasquotank County both have colleges within their counties and both County Board of Elections are Republican-led. As soon as the North Carolina Voter ID Law passed–which is the worst voter suppression law since the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act— these two County Elections Boards made changes to their local elections which make it harder for students to register to vote and to locally cast their vote.
Voter Suppression Tactics in Wautauga County combine 3 precincts into one precinct in a college town.
The Wautauga County Board of Elections voted to create a monstrous mega 3-in-1 precinct in Boone NC of 9300 voters in a polling location with only 35 parking spaces outside of the college campus of Appalachian State University.
They plan to combine 3 democratic-leaning precincts into one huge precinct.
This is from a group of people who are constantly talking about “freedom.” It seems they don’t care about making it easier for students to be able to cast a vote.
The only Democrat on the Elections Board, Kathleen Campbell, asked the nonpartisan Elections member of the Board if she knew the previous precinct limit established by the state of NC?
Elections official, Jane Ann Hodges, said that in 1990 North Carolina set 1500-people-per-precinct limits. However, on 8/13/13, the Elections Board made an unprecedented effort to make it more difficult for student voters to cast a vote by exceeding the 1500 person limit per precinct by 7800 people and by eliminating the on-campus voting site at Appalachian State University. These voter suppression tactics are an abuse of power curtailing the freedom and voting rights of students in North Carolina:
According to Michael Biesecker of Associated Press on August 14, 2013:
“The Watauga County Board of Elections voted Monday to eliminate an early voting site and election-day polling precinct on the campus of Appalachian State University.”
In another college area of North Carolina: Pasquotank County Board of Elections Challenges Residency of Students Living in Dorms at North Carolina Colleges
Pasquotank County Republican Party Chair Pete Gilbert challenged Elizabeth City State University senior Montravias King from running for city council. GOP County Chair Gilbert said he plans to challenge other voter registrations of students at the historically black university before upcoming elections.
Mr. King has been a student at Elizabeth State University since 2009, and he planned to run for City Council. He also has been registered to vote since 2009. He served as President for his local NAACP chapter and has been active in registering people to vote in his community. At the Tuesday, August 13th Pasquotank County Board of Elections meeting, GOP County Chair Pete Gilbert challenged student King’s residency. The Republican-led County Elections Board ruled that King’s “on-campus address couldn’t be used to establish local residency.”
Let’s hope the ACLU and the Department of Justice step in to fight against this attack on the civil rights of students in North Carolina. It is an obvious ruse to block the right of students to vote. The Supreme Court’s recent gutting of the 1965 Voting Rights Act by their ruling in June 2013 directly contributed to the brazen voter suppression laws and election changes occurring at lightning speed in North Carolina and in other states previously covered under Section 5 of the VRA. Justice Roberts and those who supported his activist undemocratic ruling know very well that their decision would allow states like North Carolina to block the vote. However, voters in North Carolina are fighting back. They refuse to give up the progress made from the Voting Rights Act.
North Carolina State Senator Ellie Kinnaird Vows to Insure All Citizens have a Voter ID
Former North Carolina State Senator Ellie Kinnaird resigned her seat on August 19, 2013 in order to spend full-time in protecting the vote and enabling all eligible voters to have a voter ID. Previously she fought to prevent the recent North Carolina Voter ID Law from passage.