North Carolina’s new voting law, passed by the North Carolina House of Representatives and signed by Governor McCrory in 2013, has created outrage among many North Carolina citizens. One of the biggest issues people have with the new law is the strict voter I.D. requirements– the third strictest requirements in the nation. Democracy NC is one organization standing up to fight against this law and bring back the right to vote to all people.
“We believe reform should start by educating people,” said Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy NC. Aside from the information on their website, the organization also has monthly meetings across the state and two programs that inform people and get them involved.
One way Democracy NC is teaching citizens about the new voting laws is through a program called Operation Jumpstart. This program is a statewide campaign that is working to “counter the wave of new voting restrictions.” It works by informing volunteers of the new voting laws then sending them out into their local communities to distribute informational flyers or handouts. Operation Jumpstart also partners with various nonpartisan projects that are helping citizens register to vote, obtain a photo I.D. and understand the changes in North Carolina’s voting law.
Another program Democracy NC sponsors is called Democracy Summer. “For the last 16 years this program has been helping college students, particularly students of color, to learn first hand grassroots organizing skills,” said Hall. This paid internship program sets students up with senior organizers and teaches them the skills they need to organize and run a successful civil rights campaign. “The people who founded this program were involved in the Civil Rights movement,” said Hall. “They wanted to have a program where young people could make mistakes and learn to protest and fight for the rights of others.” Democracy NC also offers financial support for this program to students who need it.
In regards to next year’s election, the organization has already begun distributing information so that everyone’s vote will count. Since the law was passed two years ago, Democracy NC has distributed more than one million voter cards about the new laws, held dozens of forums to inform people and began interviewing voters whose votes have been blocked by pieces of the law that have already gone into effect.
Democracy NC will be participating in Mass Moral Monday with the NC NAACP and other organizations on July 13.They will be there distributing information and talking to protesters at the teach-ins. Hall encourages everyone to come out and support this effort. You can find more information about Democracy NC and Mass Moral Monday on their website, HYPERLINK “http://www.democracy-nc.org” \hwww.democracy-nc.org. •