Saturday, February 05, 2005

N.C. Supremes Disfranchise 11,000 Voters

In a decision with HUGE ramifications, an all-Republican North Carolina Supreme Court (lone Democrat Justice Sarah Parker recused herself) yesterday threw out 11,310 ballots cast on November 2nd by "provisional" voters who were not in their home precincts at the time they voted.

That means someone registered in, say, Deep Gap, who had moved to Beaver Dam but forgot to notify the local Board of Elections of the move, who subsequently went to the Beaver Dam fire station to vote and was told by the Beaver Dam elections officials that though they couldn't find him on their rolls, he could vote "provisionally," until the Board of Elections could verify that he was indeed a legally registered voter of the county. When he was subsequently confirmed to be a registered voter, that vote ultimately counted.

But no way, says the persnickety N.C. Supremes, who've decided that the poor hapless schlimazel who didn't change his address but who happens to be a citizen of these United States and who may have voted in every election prior to this one and who hardly ever performs gay marriages or aborts babies, is nevertheless thrown out as a voter because of a technicality.

These judges love a technicality. It doesn't hurt their feelings, either, that their decision also perhaps renders the election victory of June Atkinson as Superintendent of Public Instruction invalid. That just doesn't hurt at all, not that Republican judges would ever reach a highly technical disfranchising of over 11,000 voters in order to advance the cause of the North Carolina Republican Party. Perish the thought.

Or just perish.

(Wonder how the Supremes rationalize the fact that in "early voting," no one votes in his/her home precinct? Or perhaps they would like to throw out all early votes too, which would have the benefit of giving Watauga County back into the arms of James Coffey and Allen Trivette.)

The matter has been remanded by the Supremes back to a Wake County Superior Court to decide just exactly how to deduct those 11,000 votes. A state-wide recount appears necessary. Atkinson could lose. She was ahead of Fletcher by about 8,500 votes on election day. And she's already sworn into office and serving.

This is mischief-making with democracy that justices George Wainwright, Beverly Lake Jr., Mark Martin, Edward Brady, and Paul Newby will long be notorious for (remember Paul Newby? He won in this last election as the biggest "conservative" in the field, and now he's got his first notch on that tight little belt of his).

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