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UPDATED: Voter ID bill sees more changes in the House, heads to Governor

Since passing the Senate, enacting legislation for the voter ID constitutional amendment saw some changes in the House Elections Committee and lawmakers finally learned the cost and appropriation for voter ID House Rules the night before it was up for a vote on the House floor.

For more details on the substance of the bill and acceptable forms of ID, check out our earlier post. Even with the House’s changes this bill still creates significant impediments to voting for many, from people in college, to lower-income people, to people who work night shifts, to people who rely on public transportation. 

The bill appropriates in total $3.1 million for fiscal year 2018-19. Of that, $2,250,000, goes to the State Board of Elections, but $1.5 million specifically designated to the DMV for loss of revenues associated with implementing this act. An additional $850,000 goes to Public Campaign Fund to be used by county boards of election for printing equipment and maintenance. The Budget and Tax Center estimated that voter ID implementation could cost the state up to $9 million and a legislative staff estimate released Tuesday showed about $17 million over five years.

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Voter ID bill sees big changes

The lame-duck session is in full swing and North Carolina legislators have drafted the implementing legislation for voter ID. The Senate gave its final approval to the legislation yesterday. Remember, voters went to the polls on November 6 to decide on constitutional amendments without the f…

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ten things to be thankful for: #ncpol edition

This past election cycle in North Carolina was a whirlwind. Before we keep pushing forward, the team at Real Facts wanted to take some time to note what we are thankful for—here are some victories and standout moments.

 

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What to expect from North Carolina Republicans when it comes to the new voter ID bill

Next week legislators will return to the North Carolina General Assembly for a legislative session to pass the details of the voter ID constitutional amendment, among other things. Based on the 2013 “monster” voter ID bill that was struck down by the courts for “targeting African-Americans with almost surgical precision,” we have a few ideas about what to expect in the new voter ID law.

College IDs won’t be acceptable forms of photo ID.Lawmakers will decide what specific types of IDs the state will accept at the polls. In 2013, Republicans voted against an amendment that would have allowed college students to use their student IDs to vote. Conservative blog Civitas claims that “while it may seem harmless, student IDs fail to provide needed information.”

Those who are unable to present a photo ID when voting won’t be able to cast a provisional ballot. In 2013, Republicans voted against an amendment that would have allowed people without IDs to cast provisional ballots and then present their ID to Elections Board at canvass. This would have allowed more leeway for people who may have lost or temporarily misplaced their IDs, people who are waiting on the DMV to send their photo ID after renewing it, or people who don’t have their photo IDs on hand for a number of other reasons. 

The photo ID law will not apply to mail-in absentee voting. In 2013 Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) proposed an amendment to have the same voter ID legislation apply to mail-in absentee voting claiming it’s more likely to cast a fraudulent vote by mail than in-person. The amendment failed. 

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Real Facts NC Releases 2018 Election Report

Real Facts NC released a report today on key NC races in the 2018 midterm elections. Tuesday’s results included major victories with the election of Anita Earls to the NC Supreme Court, the defeat of the two “power grab” constitutional amendments, and the election of three Democrats to the NC Court of Appeals.

Democrats also broke the Republican supermajority in the NC House and, barring two potential recounts, look to have done the same in the NC Senate. Notably, first-time candidate Julie von Haefen beat long-time incumbent and chief budget writer Nelson Dollar. Democrats defeated almost all of the incumbent Wake and Mecklenburg Republicans and picked up two Western NC House seats.

Victories were dampened by the losses of close races in New Hanover County despite shifting tides in that region. Furthermore, four constitutional amendments passed, including the photo ID requirement to vote. A similar measure was previously ruled unconstitutional in 2016 for targeting African American voters “with almost surgical precision.” It is widely expected that Republican lawmakers will attempt to codify some of the same restrictions on acceptable IDs when they return to write the implementing legislation in late November. The right to hunt and fish and the victim’s rights amendments also require implementing legislation.

Some of Tuesday’s results made history, including the election of Pitt County’s first Black District Attorney Faris Dixon and first Black woman Sheriff Paula Dance. In Wake County, Gerald Baker overcame great odds to defeat four-term incumbent sheriff Donnie Harrison. John Arrowood became the first openly LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in NC and the south.

With an eye on potential recounts in Mecklenburg, the Triad, and Wilmington, here is a first look at the 2018 NC election results.

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Earls win blocks Republicans state Supreme Court packing plans.

In December 2016 then-Governor Pat McCrory confirmed the legislature planned to pack the NC Supreme Court by claiming he worked to “deter efforts to expand” the court. Since December of 2016, Republicans have made several attempts at legislative selection of judges, culminating i…

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Days before the election Rep. Ted Davis equivocates on GenX and blames his opponent for…not being an incumbent(?)

In a WHQR interview on Wednesday, Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) tried to shift blame for his failure to fund DEQ to handle the GenX crisis to the Senate, DEQ, and his Democratic opponent, a first time candidate for office and political newcomer.

Davis began the interview by admitting his failure to stand up to the Senate. He claims he wanted to fund DEQ, but that the Senate wanted to fund the NC Policy Collaboratory. This resulted in funding for a body that can only research chemicals, not enforce laws or regulations to protect clean water.

Davis quickly shifted blame for this failure to DEQ, saying the agency could have shut down Chemours, the company responsible for putting GenX in the Cape Fear River for years. However, he voted for the 2017 budget that continued funding cuts to DEQ just days after news of the GenX spill broke and the 2018 budget that gave Chemours lobbyists everything they wanted.

He also doubled down on his questionable TV ad that implies his opponent, Marcia Morgan, a retired Army Colonel, possessed the legislative powers to solve the GenX crisis. When asked about how to bring more civility into politics, Davis again criticized Morgan for not doing enough.He cited his online petition to stop GenX pollution as a solution.

Morgan is outspoken on protecting drinking water.

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Sen. Mike Lee claims he “care[s] deeply about underserved” individuals, however his voting record proves otherwise

In an ad, Mike Lee claims “I care about solutions, I believe people are more important than politics and I care deeply about underserved and often overlooked individuals.” However, Lee’s record in the Senate proves otherwise; he has consistently voted for legislation that hurts “underserved and often overlooked individuals.”

Despite Lee’s claims he cares about people who are underserved, his record proves he has failed people who are underserved time and time again. Mike Lee faces Democrat Harper Peterson in Senate District 9.

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UNC BOG Series Part III: Lack of communication on million-dollar ad campaign raises questions about its motive

At the beginning of October, coinciding with the opening of FASFA applications for 2019, the NC Promise program launched an ad campaign to promote the new plan. “We Promise” aims to raise awareness amongst North Carolinians about the opportunity to utilize NC Promise, which UNC claims will make higher education more affordable for students, yet has many low-income students paying more out-of-pocket costs. The marketing campaign comes with a $1 million price tag.

The News & Observer reported that the legislature funded the marketing push but did not specify who requested the funding. A public records request for any correspondence between Margaret Spellings, President of the UNC System, Drew Moretz, Vice President for State Government Relations for the UNC System, Timothy Minor, Vice President for University Advancement for the UNC System, Andrew P. Kelly, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy for the UNC System, Camille Barkley, Associate Vice President for Media Relations for the UNC System, Josh Ellis, Associate Vice President for Media Relations for the UNC System, Clayton Somers, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Secretary to UNC-Chapel Hill, Amy Auth, Director of State Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina General Assembly turned up no communication. According to this, there was absolutely no communication about a $1 million ad campaign between any members of the UNC System’s senior staff.

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Chris Humphrey calls out “Raleigh politicians” but his record proves he would be just another Raleigh politician if elected to the legislature

Chris Humphrey is the Republican candidate running for House District 12. In an ad, Humphrey claims “Raleigh politicians have just one district: big cities. They push big cities to the front of the economic development line while small towns are left behind. Rural communities need a v…

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