Buncombe County: Hearing on voter challenges

This was forwarded from a member of the Earth and Social Justice Ministries.  As Unitarian Universalists, this is an opportunity to defend our 5th principle value of the “use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” 

Here’s a note from Democracy NC about a crucial voting rights hearing happening this Thursday in Asheville. Please attend if you can!

vote

Many of you attended the recent Buncombe County Board of Elections hearing brought forth by the NC-based voter suppression group Voter Integrity Project. The hearings challenged the voter registration status of 182 active and inactive voters in 11 targeted low-income precincts in Asheville. Some of the challenges were dismissed, but this Thursday, April 10 at 6pm in the County Administrative Building Room 130 (200 College St.), the remaining 95 challenges will be heard. See the flyer here.

It’s likely that most if not all of the challenged voters will not be there as many had registered at homeless shelters and transitional housing in 2008 and have never voted. They didn’t commit any “fraud” and their names would be removed from the registration roll in due time following the normal list maintenance process. Please make no bones about it, this type of voter challenging is an intimidation tactic meant to “chill” the political participation in low-income and communities of color. Just like at the preliminary hearing, we need a room full of people who are ready to protect the vote. As you know, an important part of fighting the Voter Integrity Project and groups like it is to make sure they know that people are paying attention by shedding light on their voter suppression tactics.

Since the hearings are quasi-judicial, the general public will not be allowed to speak during these hearings but their presence is crucial.  Also, there will likely be a press conference prior to and/or after the hearing for voting rights activists to speak out.  We have an opportunity to frame the issue for what it is: old-fashioned bullying of our community’s most vulnerable populations under the guise of “voter integrity”. These are tactics that should have been left in the Old South long ago.

For more information, contact Sarah Zambon, League of Women Voters, at sgzambon@gmail.com.

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About Elizabeth Mount

Seminarian, UU, organizer, and badass. For faith, justice, and interdependent existence.
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