NC NAACP Email Theatrics On Voter ID

I didn’t even get past the subject line before rolling my eyes:

“Subject: NEWS ALERT: NC NAACP Witnesses Testify to Long-standing Record of Discrimination at the Ballot Box in North Carolina during Day 2 of Preliminary Injunction Hearing”

“Long-standing record …”?!  Good grief.

Here’s one of their plaintiffs, a 93-year-old woman:

“Rosanell Eaton does not possess the proper ID to vote under the photo identification provisions of H.B. 589 that will go into effect in 2016 – the names on her driver’s license and voter registration card do not match – yet her concerns with the bill extend to other elements of the legislation. “It is so important that people have the time to vote,” Eaton expressed, raising concern about the provisions that slash a week from early voting and undermine same-day registration and use of provisional ballots.  “Voting should be free and accessible to everyone.””

Let’s clear up some of her claims.

She’s 93 and still drives? God bless her.  If that’s true, she can drive herself to the DMV to fix the address problem. She’s got a year and a half. In fact, all she needs is the driver’s license. You are not required to show your voter registration card currently nor under the new law. If it’s her voter card, that’s easy too. She just needs to contact her county board of elections.

That ‘slash of a week’ of early voting?  North Carolina used to have 17 days, it’s now 10. The number of days was cut down, but not the number of hours.

Provisional ballots? They still exist for voting inside your precinct.  Outside? Yes, they are gone; North Carolina is now the 32nd state who only allows provisional ballots within one’s own precinct.

Same day registration?   Only 10 states, including the District of Columbia, offer same day registration on election day. Only one other allowed same day registration during voting and that is Ohio. Personally, I have little sympathy for someone who scrambles to the polls to register to vote during the election period – clearly, neither voting nor figuring out the process of voting was  a priority to them.

Voting should be free and accessible to everyone.”
I’m confused. Is someone charging her money to vote? Is she saying someone is blocking her access to the polls?

North Carolina’s voter ID law actually brings our state into alignment with most of the other states. North Carolina is the 34th state to enact voter ID.  The fact is, voting is free and accessible to everyone. Having to prove you are who you say you are protects the integrity of your vote and the process.

What the NC NAACP has done here, and over the last year, appears to be a willing and repetitive misrepresentation of the law.  For those who haven’t yet done so, please read the law. It will clear up many of the misconceptions the NC NAACP has apparently been promoting.

Here’s that email, by the way:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II <forwardtogether@naacpnc.org>
Date: Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 9:31 AM
Subject: NEWS ALERT: NC NAACP Witnesses Testify to Long-standing Record of Discrimination at the Ballot Box in North Carolina during Day 2 of Preliminary Injunction Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2014

 

Contact: Sarah Bufkin, NC NAACP – smbufkin@gmail.com or 404.285.3413

 

 

North Carolina NAACP Explores Depth of Discrimination at Stake in Monster Voter Suppression Law during Second Day of Federal Court Hearing on Preliminary Injunction

Voting Law Sets Unprecedented Hurdles, Limiting Ballot Access to Citizens across the State, Including Civil Rights Veterans Who Lived through Jim Crow

 

 

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The North Carolina NAACP called witnesses yesterday that delved into the circumstances surrounding the passage of the monster voter suppression law as well as laid out the law’s devastating discriminatory repercussions, particularly on communities of color, on the second day of the preliminary injunction hearing in federal court to halt HB 598.

 

“Now that hands that once picked cotton can join with other hands and pick presidents, governors and legislators, this General Assembly wants to change the rules,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. “Yesterday’s testimony proves that you cannot look at this law in isolation, but that the people of this state must consider it against the full measure of history and the people who sacrificed, sacrificed at times their very lives, for the franchise. As we fight in North Carolina this week in the courts and in the streets, let us not merely fight a political fight. This is the fight of history. This is the fight of our time. This is a blood fight.”

 

North Carolina lawyers Adam Stein and Irving Joyner along with Advancement Project attorneys and Kirkland Ellis, LLP, are representing the North Carolina NAACP before U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder in their claim that this law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution.

 

“This case is fueled by the stories of those who have dedicated their lives to making our democracy more equal,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda D. Hair. “These are the public servants who have come before us, and those who stand up today-demanding an America more committed to its promise of equality. North Carolina set a standard of voter suppression in passing H.B. 598, but the advocates we will hear from in this case set a higher standard of resilience in their fight for a fair and open democracy.”

 

Among the plaintiffs to testify Tuesday was Rosanell Eaton. Born in Franklin County 93 years ago, Eaton has been an active member of the NAACP for 65 years. Taking the stand in front of the judge and a captivated courtroom, Eaton recalled her first experience registering to vote at age 19 during the Jim Crow era. After riding in a wagon on a dirt road, Eaton arrived at the polling site where she was confronted by three white men who demanded she stand upright, look straight ahead at the wall in front of her, and recite – without error – the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. It was only upon flawlessly completing this task that she was granted the right to register. Since then, Eaton has dedicated her life to helping others participate in our democracy.

 

Recalling her decades of work as a poll observer, worker, assistant and eventually as a poll judge, Ms. Eaton estimated that she had assisted between 4,000 and 5,000 people register to vote before she ultimately stopped counting. “My forefathers didn’t have the opportunity to register or vote,” Eaton explained. “It is my intention to help people reach that point when they could do something.”

 

Rosanell Eaton does not possess the proper ID to vote under the photo identification provisions of H.B. 589 that will go into effect in 2016 – the names on her driver’s license and voter registration card do not match – yet her concerns with the bill extend to other elements of the legislation. “It is so important that people have the time to vote,” Eaton expressed, raising concern about the provisions that slash a week from early voting and undermine same-day registration and use of provisional ballots.  “Voting should be free and accessible to everyone.”

 

Other witnesses provided insights into the discriminatory intent and impact of H.B. 589. Representative Rick Glazier testified that the law dealt “fundamentally with the most important part of democracy,” and yet the events leading up to the passage of the bill were truncated and non-transparent, leaving little time for public notice or understanding.

 

“It was the worst legislative process I’ve ever been through,” Glazier said. In the two-hour legislative session preceding the final House vote on the bill, he recounted that for the first time in his legislative career and recent state history, every member of the minority party asked to speak against the legislation. No majority members beyond the bill’s sponsor made a comment for the record, though the bill passed with majority support.

 

Rev. Jimmy R. Hawkins, Senior Pastor of Convenient Presbyterian Church in Durham, has played an active role in voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, including “Souls to the Polls” organizing to provide transportation for congregation members to early Sunday voting locations. H.B. 589, however, truncates early voting and eliminates Sundays from the allotted days. For African American voters, Hawkins explained, voting is “not just a political activity; it’s personal.”

 

Today’s session will continue with expert accounts, as new dimensions of insight will paint a picture of the discriminatory intent and detrimental effects of North Carolina’s severe voter suppression law.

 

 

###

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The NC Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state, convenes more than 160 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement. 

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
This entry was posted in LL1885, NC NAACP, Random Musings, Reverend Barber, Stay Classy, Voting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to NC NAACP Email Theatrics On Voter ID

  1. Pingback: College Kids And Voter ID | Lady Liberty 1885

  2. Unaffiliated Voter says:

    everyone please check out the great work being done by Jay DeLancy and Co at
    http://www.VoterIntegrityProject.org he is based in Rawleigh NC, retired Air Force officer.

    get on the email list and send them your $upport! thanks.

    Like

  3. Mac McAtee says:

    Having a Drivers License and a voter registration card in two different names leads me to think that this person may be able to vote as two different people. I see nothing wrong with shutting the door on voter fraud.

    Like

  4. ItsEric says:

    So Mrs Eaton has helped thousands of folks to get registered to vote, yet she doesn’t bother to correct her own name on her the voter rolls? That simply does not make sense. Nevermind the many other parts of her story…

    Like

    • These situations are usually outside the norm. Each should be looked at on an individual basis and (as in this case) can be easily resolved. I’m having a major ‘eyeroll’ situation here!

      Like

  5. oldladycitizen says:

    Some woman came through to vote during the last election. She was asked to go to the help table in order to change her address because it wasn’t correct in the books. She said that she didn’t think these problems were going to occur until the next election. She was outraged and stood up and proclaimed loudly that there were people trying to keep people like her from voting and that it was her constitutional right to vote, etc. This is what the left is creating in this state.

    Like

  6. Thomas in Jacksonville says:

    Would someone please explain to me why anyone would have a problem showing an ID to prove who you are and you live where the voting records show? The NCDMV will issue an ID for free if you can not afford the $5 for a state issued photo ID, so it is not a matter of cost. If you can get to the DMV to get the ID then you should be able to get to the polls, but if you can’t due to a physical aliment or you will not be in the area you can request an absentee ballot. If you are an out of state collage student then you should want to vote in your home state. If you are an in state collage student then use the absentee ballot or go home to vote. I am sure your parents would like to see you.

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  7. Pat Ferguson says:

    You don’t mention the rest of the Voter ID law. Can you not defend those provisions, too? For instance, why are college students prevented from using their STATE issued college IDs? Or why are the voting times and locations being decided without public input in each county? Why is it necessary to even show an ID when it took an ID to even get on the voter registration records?

    Like

    • I chose to address the contents of the email.

      Did you bother to click the link I have in the story? All of those questions are addressed.

      Like

    • ” For instance, why are college students prevented from using their STATE issued college IDs?”

      The State of NC does not issue college ID’s, the individual universities do. It is not a state certified form of ID. Also, most of them require a drivers license to get them. If they have that, why not use the drivers license? Take UNC Chapel Hill For example: http://www.onecard.unc.edu/UNCOneCard/HowtoGetaOneCard

      “Or why are the voting times and locations being decided without public input in each county? ”

      Go read your town’s minutes.They likely already addressed it.

      “Why is it necessary to even show an ID when it took an ID to even get on the voter registration records?”

      Really? Wanna think about that question you just asked for a minute?

      Like

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