Libertarians oppose more restrictions on voting rights

Press release from the Libertarian Party of North Carolina

by J.J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

RALEIGH (July 24) - Just when it didn't seem possible that North Carolina's election laws could get more restrictive, the Republican majority has come up with a massive bill that would make it even harder for people to vote.

Using the excuse that they are trying to combat voter fraud, the Republicans want to perpetrate an even greater fraud on North Carolina voters under the guise of restoring “confidence in government.”

Republicans claim to be the party of limited government. Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.

The voter ID proposal alone was a bad idea to begin with. Cramming in further restrictions on the right to vote – including eliminating pre-registration for 16- and 17- year olds, ending same-day registration, even with a valid ID, restricting early voting, and banning paid voter registration drives – doesn't just make a bad bill worse, it perverts the bill into a nightmare for free elections.

There may be some issues covered in HB 589 that are real, needed reform. But these issues can and should be debated separately. However, the overall tenor, and the inevitable result of this bill, and the manner in which it is being rushed to passage, will do great damage to the democratic process in North Carolina.

The right to vote is the most basic, fundamental right we have, and it must be jealously guarded in order to preserve our democratic system. It is the right “by which all other rights are protected,”as Thomas Paine observed.

In a republic, the law should encourage, not discourage, voting. It should make it easier to vote, not more difficult. Any rule, restriction or condition that inhibits, restricts, discourages or imposes any unreasonable and unnecessary encumbrance on the right to vote is a danger to our republic.

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina urges the people of our state to reject this bill. Call your state representatives today and urge them to vote “No” on HB 589.

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For more information: Brian Irving, press@lpnc.org, 919.538.3548

Comments

Better late than never

Thanks for posting this ... and I apologize for the snarky subject line. Maybe you all have been active in organizing to push back against Republican extremism in North Carolina, but I haven't seen it.

As a candidate for governor, I had to decide whether to run as a Democrat or something else. I thought for some time about aligning myself with the Libertarian Party. I agree with much of your platform and many of your principles, but there are simply too many areas in which Libertarian wishful thinking fails to embrace reality, and in some cases, subverts democracy. That's too bad because North Carolina badly needs your voice at the table.

Not Fraud

If you read it closely, and other background information, it becomes apparent that this is a case of 60 Elizabeth City State University students who used the university's official street address when they first registered but were not residents at that address when they voted. Out of those 60, it appears only three were in fact not entitled to vote in NC. This is not fraud, even the lawyers who argued the case for those challenging the voters said as much. Fraud implies intent, and the lawyers agreed that the real problem was confusion and bad guidance given to students about how to register and their obligation to update their addresses. This was not a case of 60 people conspiring to commit fraud -- it was a case of 60 college students who were unclear about what addresses to use on their registration forms.

Similar to Warren Wilson College

Students there who lived on campus registered at the college's official street address. But in the last round of gerrymandering, the Radical Republicans drew House (and county commission) district lines right through campus - obviously to dilute the voting strength of WWC students, and then challenged student voters during early voting for being improperly registered at the college's official street address instead of the physical address of each dormitory.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Voting rights rally in Wilmington

There will be a voting rights rally in Wilmington tomorrow being organized by Progress NC action. All are welcome.
Wilmington City Hall (Princess St. side)
Thursday, July 25th
11:00 AM

Please spread the word