READY TO VOTE?!!!
By Cash Michaels
It seemed like it would never get here, but this coming Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, Election Day will finally arrive!
By all accounts, this will be the biggest, most important election in our lifetimes, many observers say, thanks to the contentious presidential race between incumbent Republican Pres. Donald J. Trump, and challenger Democrat former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to the most recent polls, the presidential race in North Carolina is a virtual tossup, so whoever wins, it will be by the thinnest of margins.
There is no question that the controversy generated by the Trump-Biden race is what’s primarily driving the historic early absentee vote counts going into Election Day.
If you haven’t voted yet, you still have time.
For One Stop Early Voting - Same Day Registration, you can still vote today and Friday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 31st (the last day) 8 a.m. to 3 p.m..
As long as you are standing on the line when closing time comes, you will be allowed to vote.
You can early vote at 230 Government Center Dr., Suite 34 in Wilmington, 28403. There are additional early voting sites available. Please go to https://elections.nhcgov.com/voting-registration/one-stop/ for their locations, days and times.
Now if you are one of those who insists on waiting until the actual Election Day to cast your ballot, in this case Tuesday, Nov. 3rd., the first thing to know is polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m..
Unlike early voting, depending on where you live, you are already assigned a voting precinct to cast your ballot. Please check your voter registration card for that location, or, if you don’t know, call the New Hanover County Board of Elections at 910-798-7330.
Given how early voting has been going thus far, expect long lines on Election Day at the polls, so give yourself plenty of time. And remember, regardless of the polls closing at 7:30 p.m., as long as you are still on that line you’re standing on, legally you are to be allowed to vote.
If you still have a mail-in absentee ballot that you haven’t sent in yet, get it done now! Just make sure it is postmarked no later that Tuesday, Nov. 3rd if you’re mailing it, or that it is dropped off no later that Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.
And before you return it, make sure you have signed it, and have one witness sign it, along with their address.
Who will be our next governor, senior or even president? Hopefully we’ll find out on Nov. 3rd.
BIDEN’S BLACK CHILDHOOD
FRIEND: “HE’LL BE A GREAT PRESIDENT”
By Cash Michaels
You can think what you want about Joe Biden and his sometimes shaky relationship with African-Americans, because “Mouse” doesn’t care.
Richard “Mouse” Smith, currently the Delaware State NAACP president, knows the man. Indeed grew up with Biden back in segregated Wilmington, Delaware when they were teens during the early 1960s. Whatever the once young, handsome Irish Catholic Biden first learned about Black people back then - talking smack, not backing down from a challenge, learning how to communicate - Mouse helped him do it.
“He could cuss like crazy being around Black folk,” Smith recalls.
Their long friendship has stood the test of time, not because of politics, but because of a special love a tough, poor black gang member developed for a tough, working class white boy, drawn together because 19-year-old Joe Biden needed a job, and being lifeguard at the Black neighborhood pool (which is now named after him) was a way to make a decent buck.
Smith protected Biden from the wilds of the street and the straight-razor carrying gangs who pushed him, but ultimately learned that he could stand his ground, and in return, Biden helped his Black friend manage the same embarrassing affliction he had - stuttering.
Smith later helped the young white Democrat get Black votes when he campaigned for a seat on the New Castle County Council in 1970, earning Biden the undesirable moniker “nigger-lover” from disgruntled whites, because he wanted to expand public housing.
But Blacks in Wilmington had come to trust Joe Biden’s advocacy by then thanks to Mouse, especially when he marched with African-American picketers years earlier in front of a segregated downtown movie theater, or joined the local NAACP, or got elected to the U.S. Senate.
“Joe was one of us,” Mouse Smith told The Washington Post in July 2019. “We helped make him who he was.”
This week before what many say is the most important presidential election of our lifetime, Smith is at it again, helping to make his friend someone people could trust and respect - the next president of the United States.
In an exclusive phone interview Monday while on his way to North Carolina to campaign, the 72-year old civil rights leader talked about why the former vice president, 78, is America’s best choice to lead, (“I want [his critics] to think he’s dumb, ‘cause he’ll tear them down piece by piece”); what African-Americans must do to make sure their agenda is part of a “President” Biden’s list of priorities once he takes office ( “only thing Black folk need to do is stick together, put a platform together, and move with the platform…”), and why Biden almost didn’t accept Pres. Obama’s historic offer to serve as vp in 2008 (“ He told me, ‘Mouse, I don’t want to lose my freedom…” meaning he could go anywhere he wanted to without the Secret Service tagging along all the time, and he didn’t want to give that up. But after his family talked Biden down, he gladly accepted the position, and he and Pres. Obama became close friends).
And a number of Black people who worked directly for Vice Pres. Biden have since done well in Delaware state politics.
Smith says even though Sen. Kamala Harris was not his first choice to be Biden’s running mate, he thinks the two work well together. But he cautions that she will need to be tough.
Smith also wants to see President Biden nominate former National Security Advisor Susan Rice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Given the brutal nature of presidential campaigns, Smith is not surprised by the false allegations made about Biden’s health, or mental acuity, or even his attitude towards race (his sponsorship of the 1994 Crime Bill, which many say was directed at locking Black people up for longer prison sentences, was actually something that African-American leaders themselves pleaded for because of the pervasive violence of the crack cocaine wars on the streets).
President Joe Biden and the “real” Joe Biden will be one in the same.
As Smith told the PBS program “Frontline” last June,” [He] was a person that was a people person, that once he got next to you—like I always say, once you get close to him, you talk to him, you see his passion, you will like him, and you will support him while he will become your friend forever.”
“He will be a great president,” Mouse Smith says.
THE NEXT TEN YEARS
IS ON THE BALLOT
By Cash Michaels
Of all of the vitally important elected offices and issues North Carolinians will be voting on during the last days of early voting this weekend, or Election Day itself (Tuesday, Nov. 3rd), there is one that few people talk about, yet is extremely important to voters.
Who will redraw the Congressional and legislative voting district lines for the next ten years?
Answer - which ever political party wins the majority in the state House and Senate.
31 states, including North Carolina, mandate that their legislatures redraw the voting district lines, the construction of which are defined by the Constitutional mandate of “one person - one vote, and thus, all voting districts must equal one another in terms of citizenry.
But again, the reason why this process is so important is because the political party in power in the state legislature decides where and how those voting district lines are drawn, thus determining where substantial political power will be centralized for the next decade.
There are rules laid down by the state and federal courts that are supposed to guide lawmakers in redrawing voting maps. Redistricting lines should not racially gerrymandered, meaning that African-American or Latino voters should not be “stacked and packed” into to areas for the purpose of diluting their voting strength on an overall election.
And yet, North Carolina has repeatedly been dragged into either state or federal court in recent years, accused of both racial and partisan gerrymandering - both of which are illegal.
Since 2011 when the Republican won majorities in the NC General Assembly, they have been found repeatedly guilty of both Constitutional violations. In recent years, the courts have forced Republicans to be more transparent in how they devised their voting maps, thus forcing them to create more Democratic seats than originally.
Bottomline is if Democrats are able to win more legislative seats in the state Senate and House, then they will be in control of redistricting for the next ten years, after being absent from control for the past ten.
Thus legislative races in the 2020 campaign are very important because whichever party wins control, wins the right to redrawn North Carolina to their benefit.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 10-29-20
WILMINGTON ACTIVIST ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH DAMAGE TO PARKING SIGNS, TRUMP 2020 POSTER
[WILMINGTON] Lily Nicole, leader of the lowercase leaders group, was arrested Oct. 24th and charged with damage to personal property. This is in addition to being accused of vandalizing the Trump 2020 campaign billboard downtown on North Third Street on Oct. 8th.
AUTHORITIES SAY SEATTLE MAN TRAVELLED TO NORTH CAROLINA TO ASSASSINATE JOE BIDEN
[KANNAPOLIS] A 19-year-old man allegedly traveled from Seattle to Kannapolis in a attempt to assassinate Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Police say Alexander Triesman apparently parked his white van at the Fifth Third Bank in Kannapolis, which was stashed with guns, ammunition, explosives and more than $500,000. Why he chose North Carolina is not clear. Triesman is being held on child pornography charges after authorities found pictures on his computer. He has continued to threaten Biden’s life behind bars.
24 PERCENT OF THE NC EARLY VOTE DIDN’T VOTE IN 2016
[RALEIGH] As of this week more than 3.3 million people in North Carolinians have cast an early absentee ballot for the Nov. 3rd elections. Of that number, approximately 24 percent not only didn’t vote here in 2016, but weren’t even registered to vote in North Carolina in 2016. Many are young people who just came of voting age. State election officials say ultimately they’re expecting a record turnout.