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Time To Panic?

Written by Peter Grear, Esq. on 06 March 2014.

John T Holt

Educate, organize and mobilize: When a community is facing a political disaster should it push the panic button?  Many of you know that I’ve been monitoring and writing commentaries on voter suppression and the North Carolina Voter Suppression Act of 2013 since early August 2013.  Since August I’ve watched the growth of voter suppression activities and the evolution of under supported campaigns to defeat voter suppression.  In deciding whether or not to push the panic button, several important evaluations must be made.  

 

The most important evaluation that must be made when considering pushing the panic button is whether the present activities of campaigns to defeat voter suppression will succeed?  During the past months I’ve highlighted the North Carolina Alliance of Black Elected Officials as one organization central to any success in defeating voter suppression and one working to do so.  I later wrote about Operation Jumpstart and Democracy North Carolina, the organization running Operation Jumpstart another aggressively involved in fighting voter suppression.  I believe that both of these organizations are indispensable in a successful fight against voter suppression. I also believe that with massive community support eventual success is possible.

Recent evidence suggests that our present efforts may well not be adequate for the task we’ve undertaken.  A Dartmouth College study released February 12, 2014 concluded that North Carolina’s early voting laws disproportionately affect black voters. (See link #3 below).  On February 28, 2014 an Associated Press story reported that almost one-third of North Carolina’s 100 counties have been given permission by the North Carolina Board of Elections to reduce the number of their early-voting hours for the May primaries. It is important to note that to a great extent the approved decreases in early voting hours result because we, the advocates to defeat voter suppression fell short.  Part of why we fell short is that many people that are threatened by voter suppression don’t know it and many that do know it are sitting idly by allowing it to happen.  

A March 3, 2014 news report by the News & Observer concluded that Democrats may make few gains in the 2014 General Assembly.  As I understand the article, the N & O arrived at their conclusion without giving consideration to the further disadvantages created for black voters by the Voter Suppression Act of 2013.  It’s important to re-state that many campaigns to defeat voter suppression are non-partisan efforts to protect our most important civil right, the right to vote.  It is also important for those campaigning to defeat voter suppression and those desiring to join a campaign to find out what their county’s deadline for setting early voting guidelines for November 2014 elections is, so that they can give meaningful input in making early voting decision for November.  It’ll take massive community support to improve our expectations.

Just for the record, it is my opinion that if the opposition to voter suppression doesn’t expand its operations the forecast for November is not good.  I also believe that if those threatened by voter suppression don’t greatly increase their activities things will be worse after November. Again, it takes massive community support to reverse these expectations.

Now that we’ve considered whether or not current opposition will succeed in defeating voter suppression, and of course, I don’t believe it will.  The next most important question is whether pushing the panic button will improve the chances of success for the opponents of voter suppression.   On this question I say that our community is facing the greatest civil right disaster in more than 50 years and it is time to push the panic button.  I equate pushing the panic button with all hand on deck working with a greater sense of urgency and purpose.   It is of critical importance for those sitting on the sidelines to get involved.  If not for themselves, for our forefathers, many of whom gave their all for our right to vote or for their children, who face grave threats, like “Stand your Ground” and increased discrimination. It’s long past time for massive community support.

GDN covers news that is vital to unrepresented and underserved communities we need your financial support to help us remain viable. 

Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on voter suppression.  To join the campaign to defeat voter suppression please “Like” and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles, and/or share your ideas and comments on our website at www.GreaterDiversity.com.  Also, to promote the campaign to defeat voter suppression, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow the above-referenced recommendations. 

GDN covers news that is vital to unrepresented and underserved communities we need your financial support to help us remain viable.

Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on voter suppression.  To join the campaign to defeat voter suppression please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles, and your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com.  Also, to promote the campaign to defeat voter suppression, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow the above-referenced recommendations. Additionally, please follow us on Twitter at @yourrighttovote.