3 big reasons to continue registering voters

Voting law changes spurred long lines in Early Voting (photo credit: News & Observer)

Today the Judges of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the 2013 North Carolina voting law that limited voting options and required voters to show a photo ID at the polls. This is unquestionably a victory for all voters in North Carolina, but it should not be taken as a sign to let up on our efforts to register voters and to educate them about their voting options. There are three main reasons to keep it up!

Republicans intend to appeal
We must keep at our efforts because the North Carolina Governor, Senate Leader and House Speaker have already announced their intention to appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Even if any potential rulings would not be rendered in time to affect this year’s elections, we cannot risk disenfranchising any group of voters in future elections.

Voter Participation Rates for Democrats are too low
Even though NC Board of Elections data show Democrats outnumber Republicans in North Carolina, voter participation rates for Democrats are lower for a variety of reasons. These are most effectively addressed by educating voters about options such as Early Voting and Absentee Voting. Unfortunately, data from the last primary election shows this gap in votes cast for presidential candidates:

Party                     Registrants          Ballots Cast         Participation Rate
Democratic         2,652,997            1,142,916                           43.1%
Republican          2,007,350            1,149,620                           57.3%
Unaffiliated        1,896,092
Libertarian               27,547                     5,819                           21.12%
TOTAL                  6,593,986            2,323,590

Given the lack of candidates running as “unaffiliated,” that means that voter participation rates for Democrats are even less than the 43% calculated because some portion of those ballots cast for democratic candidates were also cast by unaffiliated voters. We cannot passively trust that aversion to Donald Trump will change the voter participation rate in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Republicans made great strides in the last decade
Finally, the grim reality of the partisan landscape today shows how deeply entrenched the GOP is, considering they hold:

  • 248 out of 440 seats in the US House of Representatives,
  • 54 out of 100 seats in the US Senate,
  • 31 out of 50 Governorships,
  • 70 out of 99 state legislative chambers, and
  • 4 out of 8 justices on the Supreme Court.

What you can do about it now
That is why we need to keep up the good work registering voters. Here are the locations and times for our voter registration efforts this weekend and next:

Saturday, July 30 at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
The Raleigh Times
14 E Hargett Street, Raleigh, NC 27601  Google Maps Link

Sunday, July 31 at 12pm and 2pm
NC Coordinated Campaign Office
2200 E Millbrook Rd, Suite 117 Raleigh, NC 27604  Google Maps Link

Saturday, August 6 at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
Starbuck’s at Pleasant Valley Promenade
6282 Glenwood Avenue  Raleigh, NC 27612  Google Maps link

Sunday, August 7 at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
Starbuck’s at Pleasant Valley Promenade
6282 Glenwood Avenue  Raleigh, NC 27612  Google Maps link

We hope to see you at one or all of these events. Let’s go get ‘em!


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