NC NAACP Requests Meeting with Gov. McCrory and Forward Together Movement Before Bill Signing

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Aug. 6, 2013. This letter was sent to Governor Pat McCrory on Thursday of last week. Phone calls from the NC NAACP to the Governor’s office to follow up were unsuccessful, according to the NC NAACP. 

 
August 1, 2013
Honorable Pat McCrory, Governor
State of North Carolina
 
Dear Governor McCrory:
 
On Monday, over 10,000 North Carolinians came to Raleigh to challenge the extremist agenda that was passed by the General Assembly.
 
Earlier that day, a delegation of clergy, teachers and advocates delivered your office an enlarged copy of House Bill 589. We understand you are presently considering the Bill, to make what will be a historic decision to sign or veto it. As you know, we, and perhaps 80% of North Carolina voters believe it to be one of the most restrictive and regressive attacks on minority, elderly and young people’s voting rights seen in this nation since the end of Reconstruction and the implementation of Jim Crow at the turn of the 20th Century.
 
We hope you will take the time to do a complete review of the extremist positions that were thrown together in this Bill. As you make this review, we respectfully request you meet with members of the Forward Together Movement before you decide about whether or not to veto it. The Bill 
  • Eliminates 7 days of early voting, same-day voter registration, and early registration of 16 and 17 year olds;
  • Authorizes vigilante poll watchers to challenge a citizen’s right to vote in any jurisdiction in the state;
  • Prevents a county from having the flexibility to add more than one hour to the time for citizens to vote on election day;
  • Eliminates a requirement that campaign ads must be endorsed by a candidates and increases contribution limits to $5,000;
  • Imposes the most extreme voter identification requirements in the nation while refusing to recognize valid student and other types of reliable identifications.
A representative from our office will be in touch to coordinate a time and date.
 
In the spirit of justice,
 
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President
North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP
 
Enclosure: The NC NAACP’s News Statement About the Passage of HB 589
 
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NC NAACP Responds to the Passage of Most Extreme Voter Restriction Laws in the Nation 
 
July 26, 2013.  Overnight, the North Carolina General Assembly finally brought to a close the shameful 2013 legislative session. Alongside a host of other ultra-regressive bills rammed though at the eleventh hour of the session, as expected, the North Carolina General Assembly cemented its status as the number one government in voter suppression when it passed the most aggressive attack on the voting rights of North Carolina citizens in modern history.
 
“This latest voting rights attack represents the most comprehensive attack on the right to vote that this state has enacted since the institution of Jim Crow laws in the 19th Century when federal troops pulled out of the South,” said North Carolina NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. “Extremist members of the General Assembly viewed the Supreme Court’s ruling on Section 4 as once again federal protections being removed, thereby giving them the freedom to undermine and disenfranchise the poor, African Americans, and all people of color.”
 
The final version of House Bill 589 presented for Governor McCrory’s signature contains over 40 pages of provisions erecting barriers to the right to vote. Among many other extremist restrictions and provisions to obstruct transparency in political campaigns, the bill:  
  • Eliminates 7 days of early voting, same-day voter registration, and early registration of 16 and 17 year olds;
  • Authorizes vigilante poll watchers to challenge a citizen’s right to vote in any jurisdiction in the state;
  • Prevents a county from having the flexibility to add more than one hour to the time for citizens to vote on election day;
  • Eliminates a requirement that campaign ads must be endorsed by a candidates and increases contribution limits to $5,000;
  • Imposes the most extreme voter identification requirements in the nation while refusing to recognize valid student and other types of reliable identifications.
These draconian changes to voting laws, when considered with the “stacking and packing” of minority voters into segregated Bantu electoral districts, has moved North Carolina past Texas into the nation’s leadership position in voter suppression tactics.  The actions by the General Assembly is a frontal attack on people of color, young and senior voters, students, women and the disabled and will result in the imposition of significant barriers to every person’s exercise of the right to vote. The most significant impact, however, will be to racial minorities.

“The deaths and suffering of the many thousands who fought during the Civil Rights movement to ensure that race would not prevent a citizen from being able to register and vote in the United States will not be in vain,” said Attorney Irv Joyner, NC NAACP Legal Redress Chair. “We will uphold our debt to the men and women of every race who waged the struggle leading up to the 1965 enactment of the Voting Rights Act to continue the resistance to any efforts by right-wing extremists to destroy the political franchise for racial minorities in North Carolina and other states.”

 
“The NC NAACP commends the Department of Justice for taking action to address clear discrimination in Texas. Just as in Texas, the omnibus bill awaiting signature by our Governor is based on nothing but a bare intent to discriminate against African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, women, students, the poor and other minorities in North Carolina,” said Rev. Barber. “If this bill is signed into law, in response to these drastic, immoral, and race-based enactments, the NC NAACP will use every legal, organizing, and communications tool available to uphold and defend both the letter and the spirit of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the North Carolina Constitution, and the U.S. Constitution, and we will win.”
 
Through late-night, eleventh hour maneuverings, legislators hope the people of North Carolina will not notice the laws passed in our name. They are wrong. At this hour, the eyes of the nation are upon North Carolina. And the eyes of God are upon Governor Pat McCrory.
 
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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, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
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