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Feb-27-2014 10:48printcomments

NC is Hiding Communications About Monster Voter Suppression Bill

“Public officials are accountable to their constituents, who should have access to this basic information...." - NAACP

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory photo: NPR

(RALEIGH, NC) - The North Carolina NAACP State Conference once again pressed North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the legislature to come clean and turn over requested documents pertaining to the monster voter suppression bill they championed last year. The State of North Carolina has been embroiled in litigation over the law since the North Carolina NAACP and its legal team challenged the measure in federal court in August 2013. As part of the lawsuit, the plaintiffs have sought routine information about lawmakers’ efforts to pass the bill. Legislators have requested permission to hide information about the law, which stands to keep hundreds of thousands of qualified African Americans, Latinos, seniors and students voters from the ballot box. The North Carolina NAACP filed a supplemental brief in federal court to compel Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican-led legislature to turn over the requested documents. North Carolina NAACP State Conference President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, issued the following statement in response:

    “Governor Pat McCrory and the extremists in the legislature came into office loaded to bear, cutting the payroll tax credit for more than 900,000 poor and working people, rejecting federal funding to expand Medicaid to provide healthcare to 500,000 North Carolinians, refusing federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation to help 170,000 laid-off workers, and making devastating cuts to education, which have made North Carolina’s public education spending and teacher salaries among the lowest in the country. They sought to set these policies in stone by passing a monster voting bill that will make it harder for seniors, students, African Americans and Latinos to vote.

    Now, the same people who made the rounds on state and national TV advocating for the law want to keep their communications about the measure a secret. If the attack on voting rights is so righteous, why conceal the reasons for passing it in the first place? The courts and the people of North Carolina have every right to know the details regarding the consideration and passage of the law."

    “Public officials are accountable to their constituents, who should have access to this basic information – especially when the information pertains to a bill that tampers with the sacred right of voting.

“In the brief filed on Tuesday, February 26, we assert:

  • Legislative immunity is not absolute and doesn't preclude lawmakers from having to respond to discovery requests, especially in cases where the intent of the legislature is so crucial to the claim of intentional discrimination.
  • Cases under the Voting Rights Act are different than others, and specifically allow intrusions into state legislative activity due to the importance of enforcing the protections against race discrimination in voting advanced by the 14th and 15th Amendments. 

“On behalf people affected all across this state, we will continue our crusade for justice with the knowledge and deep faith that what’s done in the dark must ultimately come to the light.”

This Statement Can Be Attributed to Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP State Conference

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