The League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County on Thursday said it was concerned about the intent of the challenge.
It said all of the challenged registrations belong to voters living in one of 11 city precincts, which include Hall Fletcher Elementary School, the Shiloh community, the Burton Street community and five public housing developments. Buncombe County has 80 precincts.
Sarah Zambon, the league’s voting rights chairwoman, said in a statement before the meeting that the groups had targeted low-income and African-American communities.
“Whether intentionally or unintentionally, this has the effect of intimidating voters in these neighborhoods,” she said
She urged the board to refuse to send any of the challenges to a full hearing. Zambon noted that more than 70 of the challenged voters have a history of voting and more than 30 voted in 2012.
Check out the full Asheville-Citizen Times article here.
LWV of Asheville-Buncombe County Work to Secure Right to Vote Continues
Asheville – Ninety-four years ago this month, the League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt with the goal to secure the right to vote for women. After decades of debate and protest, the 19th amendment became law in August 1920. The League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County marks this anniversary with a renewed commitment to protect the right to vote and to make our elections fair, free and accessible to all eligible citizens.
“We are excited to mark nearly 100 years of the League, and with it, women’s suffrage,” said Karen Oelschlaeger, president of the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County. “But our work continues. The right to vote remains under attack and the League remains a defender of our democracy, fighting to ensure all Americans can cast a ballot.”
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision which gutted key components of the monumental Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The Court’s decision erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that had been effective for more than 40 years, and opened the floodgates for a wave of attacks on voters.
In January 2014, members of Congress introduced a bill designed to modernize the VRA through common sense solutions. This bipartisan legislation was carefully crafted to protect the rights of all voters from discrimination and repair the damage to the Voting Rights Act inflicted by the Supreme Court’s decision. The updated bill seeks to better protect all voters against discrimination at the ballot box and ensure Americans are guaranteed their right to vote.
“As we celebrate our 94th year, we call upon Congress to swiftly pass the bipartisan bill to modernize the Voting Rights Act, and to protect Americans’ right to vote,” said Oelschlaeger. “We need modern, common sense fixes to protect everyone’s right to vote and make sure that our elections are free, fair and accessible for every American.”
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, dozens of cities and towns have changed voting procedures. Our League is working hard to educate citizens about the impact of North Carolina’s new elections law.
“Our foremothers understood that voting provides citizens the ability to have an impact on the critical issues facing their communities,” said Oelschlaeger. “The League has a long history of making democracy work – through voter registration drives, as well as candidate and issue debates and forums. We will continue to host these events in our community during this important election year as we call upon Congress to work quickly to ensure voters’ voices can be heard.”
For more information about the League of Women Voters, please visit ablwv.org or email email@example.com.
North Carolina voters do not need a photo ID to vote in 2014
North Carolina voters do not need a photo ID to vote in the 2014 primary or general election. Voters will be asked for a photo ID in the 2014 and 2015 but cannot be prevented from voting if they do not have a photo ID. There has been a lot of media coverage regarding photo ID since the passage of the Voter Integrity and Verification Act (VIVA) in the summer of 2013. Media coverage in the last few weeks has renewed interest in photo ID as the State starts to implement components of the law and the NC DMV prepares to provide voter photo IDs at no charge. While these IDs are now accessible, voters do not need them to vote in 2014.
There are significant changes to voting in 2014 that voters do need to know:
1) Early Voting will be reduced from 17 to 10 days. For the 2014 primary, Early Voting runs from April 24 and run through May 3rd. The Buncombe County Board of Elections will determine the locations and hours for Early Voting.
2) There is NO same-day registration. Everyone must be registered 25 days before Election Day. The deadline for registering for the Primary Election is April 11th. Previously you could register to vote and cast your ballot on the same day during the early voting period.
3) On Election Day you can only vote at your precinct. You will not be allowed to vote at the wrong precinct on Election Day. Previously you could request a provisional ballot.
4) There are changes to Absentee Voting including the need for 2 witnesses or a notary public to sign the absentee ballot for it to be valid.
5) The law allows for additional partisan poll observers and any voter in the county can challenge any other voter; you no longer have to be in the same precinct to challenge a voter.
The League of Women Voters will host a “Voter Corps” training on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 6pm at the West Asheville Library (942 Haywood Road). Voter Corps is a program created specifically to address issues in WNC regarding the new voting law, VIVA. This training will discuss numerous volunteer opportunities, including voter education and outreach, nonpartisan rides to the polls, Election Day observation and data collection, monitoring state and local implementation of the new law, and much more. The event is free and open to the public.
The League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties. For more information about the League or about upcoming events, visit ablwv.org or call 828-258-8223.
Early voting has begun for Buncombe County and runs until Saturday, November 2nd. If you’ve got questions about your local election or about voting in North Carolina, we’ve got the answers below. And if you’ve already voted early, thank you!
Where and when can I vote early? The Buncombe County Board of Elections office have listed the early vote locations and times on their website: http://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/election/News_Detail.aspx?newsID=13976
Who are the candidates on my ballot? Find out who’s on the ballot in your area and get non-partisan voter guides and candidate bios before you cast your vote at http://www.ncvoterguide.org
I want to vote on Election Day. Where do I vote? Election Day is November 5th. Find your polling place here: http://www.ncsbe.gov/PrecinctFinder.aspx
What time do the polling places open and close on Election Day (Nov. 5th)? All polling places in NC will be open from 6:30am-7:30pm.
Unanswered questions or problems during early voting or on Election Day (Nov. 5th)? Visitwww.ncelectionconnection.com or call 888-OUR-VOTE for help or to report a problem.
It’s critical to vote in your local elections as you’ll likely be electing your mayor, city council members, school board members, and county commissioners. These local elections have a huge impact on our lives, communities, and the environment.
Be sure that your voice is heard in these critical upcoming local elections across North Carolina!
PS: If you’re not already registered to vote in Buncombe County, you must may register and cast your ballot on the same day during the “One Stop” Early Voting period. Early voting ends Saturday, November 2.
Saturday, Nov. 2 is your last day to register to vote in Buncombe County in 2013.
You may not register to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5.
NO PHOTO ID IS REQUIRED TO VOTE IN THE 2013 ELECTION; photo ID will not be required to vote in NC until 2016.
Representatives from ACLU of North Carolina, League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County, and Christians for a United Community Will Discuss Efforts to Combat NC Voter Suppression Law at 7:30pm on Thursday, October 17 at UNCA’s Humanities Lecture Hall.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s voter suppression law on August 12. The suit specifically targets
provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit “out-of-precinct” voting. It seeks to stop North Carolina from enacting these provisions, arguing that they would unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Statement by League of Women Voters of North Carolina President Jo Nicholas:
The League of Women Voters is pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today is joining the League of Women Voters of North Carolina in challenging that state’s new voting law, which voting rights advocates have called the most restrictive voting measures passed since the civil rights era. The League filed suit against the NC law in August.
Today the U.S. Department of Justice has announced it is suing to block implementation of North Carolina’s voter suppression law, one of the strictest in the nation. This law has damaged the very foundation of our great democracy. Among other harmful actions, this law imposes a strict voter photo ID requirement, eliminates same day registration, shorten the early voting period by a week, eliminates pre-registration for 16 & 17 year olds, and purges the voter rolls more often. The lawsuit also aims to force North Carolina to obtain pre-clearance for any future changes to elections in the state.
“North Carolina politicians have brought shame upon our great state and put their own personal political gain above the democratic process – There seems to be a lot of that going around these days. We applaud Attorney General Holder and the Justice department and we once again call on the Department of Justice to use all means at their disposal to see that this legislation gets swept into the dustbin of history where it belongs”
“Elections are the one time when all citizens– rich or poor, young or old, black or white – have an equal say in our great democracy. This legislation erases that equality and is an attack that will severely limit options for all NC voters, especially the poor, the elderly and racial minorities. Our state governments should be in the business of making it easier for citizens to vote, not adding costly restrictions and hassles that will negatively impact our great democracy.”
The League of Women Voters is pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today is joining the League of Women Voters of North Carolina in challenging that state’s new voting law, which voting rights advocates have called the most restrictive voting measures passed since the civil rights era. The League filed suit against the North Carolina law in August. The DOJ action in North Carolina comes just over a month after the DOJ took similar measures against a voter photo ID law in Texas.
The voting restrictions in both Texas and North Carolina are just two parts of the all-out attack on voting rights occurring across the country as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in June.
The League will continue to pursue all avenues to fight for voters’ rights, but we also need strong action by Congress to repair and restore the VRA protections that have helped us prevent racial and language discrimination in our elections for decades.