ENERGY BUILDS TOWARDS
NOV. 6THMIDTERM ELECTIONS
By Cash Michaels
With the all-important Nov. 6thmidterm elections less than two weeks away, energy in the African-American community across North Carolina is building as more and more leaders make it clear that the black vote will be key to any positive change hoped to be accomplished.
According to Democracy NC, a nonpartisan progressive advocacy group, voter turnout thus far since the beginning of early voting on Oct. 17th, 430, 841 ballots have been cast across the state during the first five days.
Based on from the N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement released on Monday, Oct. 22nd, compared to the first four days of early voting during midterms in 2014 and 2016, there is definitely an uptick across the board, including in the African-American community.
In 2014 (when there were only ten days of early voting) there were just 297,599 ballots cast, compared to 410,430 two-years later (with 17 days of early voting). This year, there are 18 days of early voting, with over twenty thousand more early voting ballots cast than in midterms 2016.
Per Democracy NC’s analysis, “fifty-eight North Carolina counties have seen an increase in the number of black voters compared to this point in 2014. That’s key because President Barack Obama, a black Democrat, was still in office in 2014. Today, with Obama’a name nowhere near the midterm ballot (except for his personal candidate endorsements) black voter turnout is apparently going up.
Indeed, according to Democracy NC:
- Across the state, 9% more Black voters (83,285) have cast ballots at Early Voting locations than at this point in the 2014 cycle (76,218), as have 10% more Black women, and 34% more Black voters under 26.
- More than double the number of biracial and multiracial voters have cast ballots at Early Voting locations (1,826) this cycle compared to this point in 2014 (867). The number of registered biracial and multiracial voters has increased 22% since 2014.
- Democratic voters have cast 186,571 ballots at early voting sites so far, compared to 148,125 at this point in 2014, a 26% increase.
- Republican voters have cast 128,423 ballots at early voting sites this cycle, compared to 89,117 at this point in 2014, a 44% increase.
· Forsyth, Durham, and Wake counties saw the greatest increases in the number of Black voters at this point in the Early Voting cycle compared to 2014.
However, all of the news isn’t good.
- In the 4 of the 8 counties where the majority of registered voters are Black, fewer votes have been cast compared to this point in 2014 – Vance, Edgecombe, Warren and Northampton.
And the majority of North Carolina counties this early voting period cut the number of voting sites, availability of weekend early voting hours, or both. In addition:
- Challenges remain for voters in some hurricane-impacted counties, which was recognized by the State Board of Elections last week in an order which added accommodations for storm-affected voters. The four counties with the greatest percentage decrease in voter turnout on the first weekend from 2014 are all receiving federal assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, reports Democracy NC.
In an effort to increase black voter turnout, the Poor People’s Campaign: A
National Call for Moral Revival, led by former NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber, will be making a six-city “Moral Revival for Voting Rights” tour across North Carolina, beginning Friday, October 26th, in Flat Rock.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Moral Revival goes to Henderson in Vance County,
Dunn in Harnett County, and Warsaw in Duplin County.
On Sunday, Oct. 28, there will be a “Students in Solidarity: A March to the Polls at NC A&T University in Greensboro starting at 2 p.m.. at 6 p.m. in Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, a National Get Out the Vote Revival.
It all culminates on Monday, Oct. 29that New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Greensboro with a 6 p.m. Moral Revival Poor People’s Hearing, co-chairs Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis.
For more information, go to https://actionnetwork.org/events/north-carolina-poor-peoples-hearing.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 10-25-18
By Cash Michaels
JUDGE BLASTS UNC OVER SILENT SAM PROTESTS, VIOLENCE
[CHAPEL HILL] An outraged Orange District Court judge blasted administrators with UNC- Chapel Hill for being “…the proximate cause….” of the Silent Sam Confederate statue controversy. Judge Beverly Scarlett refused to punish Barry Brown, a Silent Sam sympathizer, for simple assault for punching a Silent Sam protestor in the face at an on-campus rally on August 25, adding that the statue (which was torn by demonstrators in August) ““inflames emotions and leads to agitation.” Judge Scarlett then compared Silent Sam to a statue of German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
FRANKLIN COUNTY POLL WORKER ACCUSED OF BLACK VOTER INTIMIDATION
[BUNN] A white Franklin County poll worker is accused of intimidating black voters at Bunn Library Oct. 17thby repeatedly insisting that they spell their names on voting forms. WNCN-TV news reported that complaint was filed with the Franklin County Board of Elections, which then met Tuesday to investigate the complaint against Kay Dean a ten-year elections veteran. One black woman told the TV station that she saw Dean’s “rudeness” towards black voters. The board has removed Dean from the Bunn Library, and placed her on office duty.
GRANDMOTHER ARRESTED AFTER GRANDSON BRINGS A GUN TO SCHOOL
[FAYETTEVILLE] Terran Hepburn, 57 of Fayetteville, was arrested Tuesday after her grandson was found with a loaded semiautomatic handgun from home, in school. Hepburn was cited with a misdemeanor charge of failure to properly store of firearm to protect minors. School administrators at Long Hill Elementary School found the weapon in the fifth grader’s backpack.