Over the last decade, the North Carolina General Assembly leadership has consistently and brazenly manipulated election and redistricting laws to silence Black voters and reduce Black political power, all in the name, they have proudly said, of expanding and entrenching their partisan control. Courageous legislators have stood up, session after session, and spoken truth to power about the racist and cynical intent behind these actions.
H1169, the Bipartisan Elections Act of 2020, could have represented a break from the relentless partisanship and attacks on Black voters that have become the norm in North Carolina’s elections and redistricting bills. But rather than come together to advance necessary policy changes responding to the current COVID crisis, House and Senate leadership opted to first insert the lightning rod issue of photo voter ID and then other non-COVID-19 related provisions into the bill. These actions taken together are a clear attempt to impact their litigation position regarding the 2019 law (SB824) currently enjoined by two courts and to continue partisan efforts to give their party the upper hand in the 2020 election.
NC Senators, it’s time to stand together courageously again, to call out the non- COVID-19 related provisions of this bill as inappropriate, irrelevant, and racially- motivated. And to place them in the broader context of this General Assembly’s history on voting laws.
We must ensure that H1169, the Bipartisan Elections Act of 2020, serves only to improve access to voting for all constituents. Unrelated provisions that seek to sneakily reactivate photo voter ID are a deceitful attempt to undermine the courts who have blocked this law time and again. It is imperative that you stand up for racial justice in this moment by speaking truth to legislative leadership -- Photo Voter ID has no place in a COVID-19 elections bill. H1169 is supposed to make voting easier for North Carolina voters during this pandemic, NOT to confuse voters and seek to reactivate shameful, racist barriers designed to undermine a free and fair democracy.