North Carolina, almost making nDakota look good. The NC GOP has been working hard on voter suppression, and they are getting a result, an unfortunate one.
After Republican leaders mounted a concerted and illegal effort to make it harder for African Americans to vote in North Carolina, the party apparatus celebrated on Monday that fewer African Americans have voted in North Carolina this year.
In July, a federal appeals court struck down an “omnibus” election law, passed by the GOP-controlled state legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R), writing that it was “hard not to come away with the conclusion that North Carolina’s lawmakers wanted to get caught engaging in unlawfully racial discrimination.” The court found that the GOP legislature had “requested data on the use, by race, of a number of voting practices,” and then “enacted legislation that restricted voting and registration in five different ways, all of which disproportionately affected African Americans.” In an unsuccessfulappeal, the state actually claimed that its efforts would instead increase minority turnout.
After that failed, North Carolina Republicans used their two-to-one edge on electoral boards to slash early voting options and force long lines at the few early voting locations in urban centers like Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Winston-Salem. Unsurprisingly, almost 9 percent fewer African Americans took advantage of early voting than had in 2012.
Full story here.
In other bad shenanigans news, a Colorado amendment would take power away from voters:
A state constitutional amendment on Tuesday’s ballot will give Coloradans an opportunity to make it much harder for voters to change their laws.
Amendment 71 — known as “Raise the Bar” — would mean that in order to get an amendment on future ballots, 2 percent of voters in each of the state’s 35 senate districts would have to sign a petition. In addition, it would increase the threshold for passing a constitutional amendment from 50 percent to 55 percent.
The amendment is being backed primarily by business interests, including a massive cash infusion from the oil and gas industry.
Opponents say that passing Raise the Bar will make it nearly impossible for citizen-led initiatives to get on the ballot. Colorado is characterized by widely divergent districts. A policy popular in deeply red Colorado Springs would have trouble gaining 2 percent of voters’ signatures in liberal Boulder, for instance, and vice-versa.
“One part of the state could hold veto power over the rest of the state,” said Jessica Goad, communications director for Conservation Colorado. “There are so many issues where this could really stymie changes.”
One of those issues is oil and gas regulation.
A pair of proposed amendments that would have restricted oil and gas development in the state narrowly missed garnering enough signatures to appear on the ballot this year. Under the rules proposed by Amendment 71, they would be virtually impossible to mount.
We have all been bought and sold, tossed about as disposable pawns in corporate gaming. Oh yay. Full story here.