WITH NO SUNDAY VOTING, WHEN
CAN CHURCHES BRING SOULS TO THE POLLS?
By Cash Michaels
Now that the Republican-led NC Board of Elections has decided not to force the New Hanover County Board of Elections to reinstitute Sunday voting when early voting commences on Oct. 20th, will area black churches develop plans to transport their congregations to the early voting sites during other days?
There was Sunday “Souls to the Polls voting for the March primary earlier this year in New Hanover County, as numerous black churches participated without a problem. Deborah Dicks Maxwell, president of the New Hanover County NAACP, is not pleased it won’t happen again this fall.
‘The loss of Sunday voting was a blow,” Ms. Maxwell told The Journal in a statement Sunday evening. “It is bankers hours that personally discriminates against me and my work schedule. [The NAACP] will respond by encouraging voters [to vote] during the time given. We will also request all houses of faith and individuals to offer transportation to the polls. Churches with midday Bible study will be encouraged to go to the polls at that time.”
“ I was informed that because we did not have Sunday voting in 2012 we were not considered this time. Someone died for our right to vote and we will exercise it,” Ms. Maxwell continued.
What is clear is that not allowing Sunday voting for the fall general election is in direct contradiction to the spirit of the July 29th U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling (later upheld by the US Supreme Court) when it struck down parts of the 2013 Voter ID law, passed by the Republican-led legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.
In that historic ruling, the Appellate Court wrote:
“African-Americans disproportionately used the first seven days of early voting. After receipt of this racial data, the General Assembly amended [the voter I law] to eliminate the first week of early voting, shortening the total early voting period from seventeen to ten days. As a result, the law also eliminated one of two “souls to the polls” Sundays in which African-American churches provided transportation to voters.”
The appellate court ruled that the General Assembly did so with discriminatory “intent” and targeted African-Americans with “surgical precision.”
According to attorney Irving Joyner, chair of the NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee that joined in coalition with other civil rights attorneys to fight the voter ID law, the appellate court’s intent was that Sunday voting be reinstituted in counties where it hd ben struck down or limited.
“The SBOE had received this message several times,” Joyner told The Journal. “They were warned before last Thursday's hearing, during that hearing and reminded after the session concluded. Because they were aware, some notable reversals in plans from several counties were achieved. As for the others, we are measuring the possible effects with the hours which were established. When you add them up, however, more hours are available for early voting during this election than ever before. While everyone did not get Sunday voting hours, there were more Saturday hours added to the total available hours.”
It was last month the GOP-led New Hanover County BOE voted not to reinstitute Sunday voting for the coming general election early voting period. Like all local BOEs, Republicans are in the majority 2-1. The NHC BOE’s sole Democrat, Tom Pollard, advocated for Sunday voting, saying that he felt the board should “maximize” voting opportunities for all county residents, but he was not heeded.
To be fair, a Democratic majority NHC BOE had also disallowed Sunday voting for the 2012 presidential election.
So as it stands now, absent a legal challenge, One Stop Early Voting /Same Day Registration in New Hanover county will begin Thursday, Oct. 20th and end Saturday, Nov. 5at the Government Center, 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 34, with no Sunday voting.
Voters can also obtain applications for mail-in absentee voting online, along with sample ballots. Absentee voting has already begun in North Carolina. Please go to http://elections.nhcgov.com/voting-registration/absentee-voting/ for more
“We have over 40 faith ambassadors who will ensure that their respective congregations go out and vote,” Pres. Deborah Maxwell of the NHC NAACP vows. “The community will adjust their voting time to the new schedule because “This is Our Time, This Is Our Vote.”
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 9-15-16
RODNEY ELLIS, FORMER NCAE PRESIDENT, DEAD AT 49
[WINSTON-SALEM] Rodney Ellis, the former president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, died last Saturday unexpectedly. He was 49. The Mocksville native led the NCAE as both president and vice president for eight years, battling the NC General Assembly over teachers’ issues every step of the way. Ellis planned to return to teaching in Winston –Salem at the end of his tenure to teach language arts. Gov. Pat McCrory said Ellis’ devotion to education was a “labor of love.”
CLINTON BLASTS VOTER ID WHILE IN CHARLOTTE
[CHARLOTTE] Charging that Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led NC General Assembly has tried to “restrict people’s right to vote,” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told those gathered at Johnson C. Smith University Sept. 8th that North Carolina’s 2013 Voter ID law was a blast from the Jim Crow past” and had no place in the 21st century. On July 29th, the US Fourth Circuit of Appeals ruled the Voter ID law as unconstitutional, later to be reaffirmed by the US Supreme Court. With voter ID out of the way, some observers say North Carolina is prime for Hillary Clinton to win in November.
CONSERVATIVE GROUP SPONSORS GET-OUT-THE VOTE BUS TOUR
[WINSTON-SALEM] A conservative lobbying group brought its nationwide bus tour to North Carolina Sunday and Monday, visiting Baptist churches across the state, urging evangelicals to vote in November. The Family Research Council Action bus tour visited stops in western North Carolina. The group, which is supporting Republican Donald Trump this election, is planning 100 stops in all throughout the state. North Carolina is currently tied between Trump and Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.
CASH IN THE APPLE FOR 9-15-16
By Cash Michaels
UP AGAIN – Despite all that has happened with challenges to my health over the past several months, I was still able to have one of my last mini-documentaries, “WLLE : The Voice of the Community” be selected as an entry in this year’s 2016 NC Black Film Festival in Wilmington this coming weekend.
CashWorks HD Productions coproduced the short film about WLLE-AM, Raleigh’s first black-formatted radio station that went on the air in the 1960’s, and how it both galvanized and entertained a community for over 30 years. The film was done in association with NC State University Libraries and NC State’s Africana Studies program back in February 2015 and has been screened free of charge throughout Raleigh.
I didn’t make the film to win anything, but I do think it’s good and gives people a sense of pride about how black radio once brought people together.
It screens in Wilmington this Saturday, 1 p.m., Room 528, Cape Fear Union Station at Cape Fear Community College, 411 North Front Street.
See you there!
LESS THAN TWO MONTHS – Oh Almighty GOD is good! Did you hear me? I mean, He can’t make our calendar, and the countdown to Election Day come any faster or sooner. So we’ll be deep into the presidential debates, the campaign commercials will be coming hard and fast and thick, and CNN, MSNBC and Fox News channels will fill themselves with even more nonsense about this nonsensical presidential election.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for it to all end, though I want the ending be one most of us can live with. No sense trading in four years of horror for just two months of outrage.
But what I find amazing is that as a proud member of the news business, I’m normally able to consume a fair amount of political TV talk shows, campaign commercials and campaign BS without so much as a whimper. This year, however, I find myself drowning to the point that I’ve removed myself rom any daily watching or scorekeeping.
I just can’t take anymore of the lying surrogates whose sole job is to show up on somebody’s cable talk show and call desert sand wet, waterfalls dry, and twist truth inside out knowing darn well what they’re pushing is full of bull barn by-product. I’m sick of it, sick of dishonest debate and the twisting of facts to the point where w don’t know what’s true anymore. Sure I’m all for freedom of speech, but I’m even more for exposing bald-faced liars for what they are.
I get that these surrogates have to feed their families like everybody else, but look at what they have to say in order to get that check.
That’s clearly a job I couldn’t do. I believe in truth too much to lie my face off like these surrogates are.
So, it should not surprise you that I’ve been spending more time watching old TV shows instead of inflating my already too high blood pressure watching these lying losers. I’m so glad I had the wisdom years ago to purchase box sets of some of my favorite shows, like “The West Wing.” Boy, if only we had a President like Josiah Barlett, someone with principles and a devotion to make the country work for everyone. Watching hours of a make believe White House beats hours of watching evidence of a train wreck coming our way every day.
I’m not waiting for November 8th, however. I’ve printed out my absentee ballot, I’m carefully filling it out and sending it back long for the general election. I want to vote now, have my say now, do my part for the cause now.
Standing by while all of this noise continues to poison the atmosphere is not an option….not for me!
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.