elections

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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Video: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest knows a lot about how to commit voter fraud

In a video presumably produced in the Lt. Governors office donor-funded TV studio, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest explains a "theoretical" method for committing voter fraud, "just for fun." 

The video, posted to Facebook by the Republican Council of State Caucus, goes into explicit detail about a plan that Forest claims liberal groups might use to steal votes. Under the guise of advocating in favor of a voter ID constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall, Forest lays out a specific plan to rig the election.
 
The Republican Council of State Caucus was founded by Forest as a fundraising arm for Republican members of the Council of State, but has only one other member, Superintendent Mark Johnson, despite there being four other Republicans on the Council of State. 
 
It is no surprise that other Republicans are distancing themselves from the polarizing Forest and Johnson. In addition to endorsing this method of rigging elections, the pair have ties to the abusive Word of Faith church and a controversial network of charter schools . Johnson's new chief of staff, a Forest donor, once criticized public schools for "milking the federal government" for free and reduced lunch which is concerning for the person running the state's public school system.
 
Forest will likely earn the Republican nomination to challenge Governor Roy Cooper in 2020 and Mark Johnson has hinted he wants the Lt. Governorship, no doubt to follow in Forest's footsteps. Now they have laid out a plan to get ahead in 2020.
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Top 10 issues at stake when you head to the ballot box

The wait is over- early voting began today.

For the past eight years a Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly has delivered crushing blows to the health, economic security, and safety of the people in the state. Beginning with then-House Speaker and now North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis’ “Divide and Conquer” approach to the most vulnerable populations in the state, Republican leadership has entrenched an institutional disdain for anyone who is not at the top of the economic ladder.

Here are ten issues at stake in this year’s election to think about when you approach the ballot box! Happy voting!

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REPORT: NC Legislature Races to Watch 2018

2018 is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal legislative elections in North Carolina history. This report has been updated to reflect spending by candidates, parties, and outside groups as well as more recent polling data in districts. As we get closer to the election, there are the 22 House and six Senate districts we believe are most likely to change parties this cycle. This report combines an analysis of district voting data, national and state polling, and qualitative factors, such as local issues and relative candidate strength.

These are analyses not endorsements: we’ve looked for races that could be competitive in the general election, but this shouldn’t be taken as an indication of support of any one candidate over another.

2018 House Races to Watch

2018 Senate Races to Watch

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19 unconstitutional laws passed under the cloud of a racial gerrymander

For five years now, Republican majorities in the North Carolina legislature have been elected under maps that have been found to violate the Constitutional rights of North Carolinians. The nation’s highest court – including a Justice appointed by President Donald Trump - found these legislators’ actions discriminatory yet they treat this news like another round of a child’s game. We have seen why fair and nondiscriminatory representation is important time and again. 

Fourteen times, laws enacted by this unconstitutional General Assembly have been found unconstitutional. Laws that have rigged the system and earned North Carolina headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Whether it’s restricting women’s access to health care or the worst voter suppression law in the country, these unconscionable actions by the Republican led General Assembly have hurt every citizen of this state. In their decision striking down the voter suppression law, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called out North Carolina Republicans for targeting black voters “with almost surgical precision.” When will it end? 

From the State Supreme Court to the Fourth Circuit and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, courts have not been fooled by the actions of North Carolina Republicans who have enacted laws under the dark cloud of a racial gerrymander. The cases range from the drawing of district maps to coal ash to defunding Planned Parenthood to Elections and Ethics Reform, taking power away from the Governor. In each instance, the rulings have been clear that the partisan power grabs are wrong and they must end. 

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2018 Session: Status of Constitutional Amendments

The N.C. General Assembly filed six potential amendments to the state constitution during the 2018 short session. This chart will be updated as they move through the NCGA.

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NCGA Republicans admit special session is to try to fix Supreme Court race

The Republican-led NCGA returns Tuesday for a last-minute special session where anything could be on the table.There have been rumors about a move to undo Republicans’ 2016 law making NC Supreme Court Races partisan.

Republican efforts to crowd the field for Democrats in the 2018 Supreme Court race (after they eliminated primaries) backfired when Republican Chris Anglin filed on the last day. Following Democrat Mike Morgan’s 2016 election to the NC Supreme Court, Republicans solidified their attempts at meddling in judicial elections, especially the Supreme Court.

Since December of 2016, Republicans have made moves toward grabbing judicial power and have altered the way North Carolinians elect their judges. Let’s take a look back on the efforts they’ve made to alter the system that elects the judges that keep ruling against Republicans’ unconstitutional laws.

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UPDATED REPORT: NC House Races to Watch 2018

With Democrats in 170 legislative seats, Republicans in 168, and even Libertarians and Constitution Party candidates filing in some seats, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal legislative elections in North Carolina history. Additionally, with a record six constitutional amendments added to the ballot in the last month an already unpredictable cycle has been given an added twist.

This updated report combines an analysis of district voting data, national and state polling, and candidate fundraising numbers with qualitative factors like local issues and relative candidate strength. In total, Real Facts NC thinks that 36 House races are shaping up to have competitive campaigns run by both of the major parties in districts that could conceivably go to either.

Democrats need to pick up four seats in the House and six seats in the Senate to break the supermajority. They need 16 seats in the House and 11 seats in the Senate to win the majority. Ten of the competitive House districts in this report are already held by Democrats.

A number of Democratic challengers have outraised their Republican opponents in races featured here. Already, outside spending on broadcast and mail has been reported in 12 of the districts featured in this report and it seems likely that more is on the way as August heats up.

Check out the report here

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Veto Overrides in Final Days of 2018 Session

The NC General Assembly voted to override a number of vetos from Governor Cooper during the final days of the 2018 short session. 

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North Carolina Candidate Profile: Judge Barbara Jackson

In this Real Facts NC Candidate Profile, we turn our attention to the North Carolina Supreme Court and Associate Justice Barbara Jackson. Jackson was elected to the NC Supreme Court in 2010 and is running for re-election this upcoming November. Before becoming an Associate Justice, Jackson was elected as a judge on the NC Court of Appeals and served for six years. Prior to her judgeship, Jackson practiced law for fourteen years, including time as General Counsel to Republican Cherie Berry in the NC Department of Labor and in the office of Republican Governor James G. Martin. Read the full profile of Jackson here.

“We are compelled to exercise judicial restraint and defer to the General Assembly's judgment.” – Jackson in Dickson v. Rucho, on the right of the General Assembly to keep secret its communications about the 2011 legislative maps that were later ruled unconstitutional.

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