Raleigh NC – So Who Will Replace Senator Vernon Malone?

The big buzz early this week focused on the death of Senator Vernon Malone, who died unexpectedly at his home over the weekend. Few outside Wake County may have known him but he was a wonderful, gentle man who did great things.

Speculation as to who might be named by the Wake County Democratic Party to replace Malone focuses five possible successors. (NC Spin)

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Raleigh NC – HB-120 passes the NC House, opening the door to more local public campaign financing

HB-120 passes the NC House, opening the door to more local public campaign financing.
Thank you for making a difference — and can you take a moment to thank your NC House Representative?

Dear Advocates & Friends,

Thank you so much for taking action on HB-120: Public Municipal Campaigns. The bill allows cities with over 50,000 residents to sponsor their own public campaign financing programs for their local elections.

The bill passed the NC House by a 60-56 vote and your phone calls and emails were absolutely crucial to its passage. Thank you! It now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

We want to ensure the continuing support of legislators for Voter-Owned Elections, especially since the Council of State VOE expansion bill, H-586, is coming up in the House later this session. Please take two minutes of your time to let your NC House representative know you were watching their vote on HB-120: just click here.

(If you aren’t sure which way your representative voted, you can check the final vote here.)

Many thanks for your help! If you have any questions, please call Democracy North Carolina at (919) 286-6000.

Sincerely,
Your Democracy North Carolina Team

Democracy North Carolina is a statewide nonpartisan organization that uses research, grassroots organizing and coalition building to promote voter participation and fair elections. Please visit us on the web at http://www.democracy-nc.org for more information on our activities.

Raleigh NC – Support Youth Voting & Civics Education in North Carolina and Support House Bill 1260: Voter Preregistration & Education

House Bill 1260: Voter Preregistration & Education

Overview: This bill allows 16 and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote, encourages additional instruction in the social studies curriculum about the importance of registration and voting, and encourages boards of elections to assist registration and preregistration in schools. Most students are 16 when they take civics in high school and when they go to the DMV for a driver’s license, so it’s the ideal time to sign them up as future voters.

Bi-partisan Sponsors: Representatives Bryant, Cotham, Burr, Burris-Floyd (Primary Sponsors); others: K. Alexander, M. Alexander, Blue, Brubaker, Cleveland, Farmer-Butterfield, Fisher, Glazier, Goodwin, Harrell, Harrison, Holliman, Jackson, Jeffus, Jones, Lucas, Luebke, Mackey, Martin, Mobley, Parmon, Sager, Stevens, Underhill, Weiss, Womble, and Yongue.

How will preregistration enhance civics education and involvement?

  • Students are already required to learn about the voting process; preregistration would make this learning more relevant. North Carolina students are required to take Civics & Economics in the 10th grade to help them “acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to become responsible and effective citizens in an interdependent world.” Voter registration is an essential component of citizenship and complements the current civics curriculum.
  • Preregistration will improve students’ achievement and civic preparation. The seminal Civic Mission of Schools report (CIRCLE and Carnegie Corporation of NY, 2003) cites several effective approaches to civic education that preregistration helps realize:

Ø  Provide instruction in government, history, law, and democracy. Formal instruction in these topics increases civic knowledge and contributes to a young person’s tendency to engage in civic activities over the long term. However, schools should avoid teaching only rote facts about dry procedures, which may actually alienate student from politics. Preregistering to vote is linked to instruction in government, history, and law. Moreover, the process enables educators to teach these subjects in an innovative manner.

Ø  Incorporate discussion of current local, national, and international issues and events into the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives. When young people have opportunities to discuss current issues in a classroom setting, they tend to have greater interest in politics, more civic knowledge, improved critical thinking and communications skills, and more interest in discussing public affairs out of school. Voter preregistration will facilitate meaningful discussion of public affairs as students begin to think of themselves as future voters.

Ø  Encourage students’ participation in the democratic processes and procedures. Studies show that simulations in school of voting, legislative deliberation, trials and diplomacy leads to heightened political knowledge and interest. Voter preregistration goes beyond these simulations by involving students in a meaningful democratic process, which will lead to heightened political knowledge and interest.

●       Preregistration fosters respect, responsibility, and citizenship. Millennial youth, in a digital age, are met with a myriad of competing influences. Promoting responsible and active citizenship among youth is an effective counterbalance to the high rate of disciplinary expulsion and dropout rates throughout North Carolina.

Basic Facts/Background

  • Registration among youth is significantly lower than for other age groups. More than 80% of adult citizens over 40 are registered, but less than 60% of eligible voters age 18-24 are registered.
  • The DMV/driver’s license offices general more voter registration applications than any other method in North Carolina. Data from DMV forms is more legible than on many other applications. State law allows qualified 16 and 17-year-olds to apply for a driver’s license.
  • Voting, like good driving skills, is habit-forming. Direct experience with the process of voting increases turnout among first time eligible voters (e.g., see “Voting May Be Habit Forming,” by Alan S. Gerber, American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 47, July 2003).
  • North Carolina currently permits 17-year-olds who will be 18 on the day of the general election to register and vote in the preceding primary.
  • 16, 17, and 18-year-olds change addresses less frequently than 19 to 24-year-olds.
  • Many county boards of elections have outreach programs involving schools. For example, the Wake County Board of Elections, in partnership with the Wake County School Board, conducts a contest and awards a prize to the high school registering the most seniors.
  • Florida and Hawaii have implemented laws to allow 16 and 17 years olds to preregister.
  • Preregistration helps develop accurate, more comprehensive voter registration rolls and will shorten lengthy Same-Day Registration lines.

Elements/Mechanics of the Process

  • The basic registration form would be used, with a new box explaining the preregistration option for 16 and 17-year-olds who will not be 18 by the day of the next general election.
  • The forms would be transmitted electronically by DMV and county boards of elections to the State Board of Elections for data maintenance.
  • When the preregistered teenager becomes old enough to register, they will be automatically registered to vote by the State Board of Elections and the normal verification process for all new registered voters will take place at that time, including verification of the ID number and residential address.
  • The State Board of Elections will develop software for the preregistration of 16 and 17-year-olds. Based on the State Board of Election’s assessment, this can be done by existing staff with the existing budget.

Endorsing organizations: Democracy North Carolina, Fair Vote NC, Generation Engage, Kids Voting North Carolina, NC Center for Voter Education, NC Civic Education Consortium, Action for Children NC, Common Cause, El Pueblo, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and Traction.

For more information, contact Torrey Dixon, FairVote North Carolina at

919-286-5985 or email him at tdixon@fairvote.org

Raleigh NC – House Appropriations Committee to hold Budget Public Hearing

House Appropriations Committee to hold

Budget Public Hearing

NASH AND HALIFAX COUNTY RESIDENTS & OTHERS CAN COME TO RALEIGH AND SPEAK TO THE FULL COMMITTEE.  PLEASE ARRIVE BY 5 OR 5:30 TO SIGN UP TO SPEAK.  PLEASE CHECK ON LINE FOR ANY OTHER REQUIREMENTS.

RALEIGH, N.C. _ The Appropriations Committee of the North Carolina House of Representatives will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 28, to receive comments about the state budget.

The hearing will be held from 6-9 p.m. in the auditorium of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh on Fayetteville Street. Ten community colleges across the state will host interactive broadcasts of the hearing and it will also

Committee members would like to invite members of the public to offer suggestions and comments about the budget. Each speaker will have three minutes to share information. Other rules may also be established and will be available online at www.ncleg.net closer to the date of the hearing. Information about how to submit written comments and how to access the online broadcast will also be available at the site.

The community colleges that will serve as host sites are:

Johnston Community College, Smithfield

Bladen Community College, Dublin

Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte

Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville

Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem

Pamlico Community College, Grantsboro

Southwestern Community College, Sylva

Surry Community College, Dobson

Vance-Granville Community College, Henderson

Martin Community College, Williamston

Visit www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/colleges_map.aspx for contact information and driving directions to each campus.

Wilson NC – State clears Beacon Center of discrimination

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has found that there is no evidence to support the claim that The Beacon Center discriminated against minority service providers.

The report, which was issued Wednesday, was made at the request of The Beacon Center’s board of directors and Karen Salacki, executive director of The Beacon Center. The state looked into allegations that the center targeted and pulled endorsements of minority service providers, effectively putting them out of business. (Wilson Times)