Free and Proper Elections

NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

Free and Proper Elections - NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections

Welcome to the North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections Political Action Committee. There are two questions that we would like you and every other citizen of the great Tar Heel state of North Carolina to ask themselves. First, is the right to vote your conscience one of the citizens’ most basic rights inherent in our Republican form of government? Second, can any level of government rightfully abridge or deny it’s citizens the right to vote specifically based on political affiliation?

As a grass-roots group of concerned citizens in North Carolina, we feel that the answer is obvious. We believe that the right to vote one’s conscience is a valuable and inherent right that our servicemen and women have died to protect over the past two and one half centuries; the right to choose who represents you. So, in return, we strongly believe that that no level of government has any authority to abridge the citizen’s right to vote based on political affiliation. Yet, that is exactly what has continued to happen for over one hundred years now by our state’s policy makers.

In 1901, the state of North Carolina enacted the first ballot access law, along with the implementation of the state printed ballot (called the Australian Ballot). This first ballot access law was simply the definition of a political party recognized by the state. Yet, North Carolina started off with a bang, requiring parties to have garnered at least 50,000 votes in the 1900 General Election to remain a ballot-recognized party in the state, automatically establishing a Republican-Democratic duopoly from the beginning of the state-printed ballot.

Now, over 100 years after the implementation of the state-regulated ballot, North Carolina has revised its laws regulating who can and cannot get on the ballot numerous times and still we do not truly have free elections as required by the North Carolina State Constitution which reads in Article I Section 10: “All elections shall be free.” We ask ourselves why our representatives do not represent us, why they promise one thing on the campaign trail and then deliver nothing in office, why can we not trust them. We at the North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections, believe that it is a result of the unfair and restrictive ballot access laws which nearly ensure that only the two major parties have an equal chance on election day by making it nearly impossible to gain access to the ballot, allowing the two major parties to run unopposed by third party or unaffiliated candidates in most elections.

What people forget, and neglect to understand, is that in pre-1900 America, elections where generally free and equal; third political parties had a chance and they undertook important, meaningful roles in early-American politics. They served as agents of change and progress, ensuring that issues such as women’s suffrage and the abolishment of slavery were on the table, whereas the two major parties would have otherwise failed to act. Yet, since those grand old days when the citizens and political parties printed the ballots themselves and were able to vote their conscience, things have changed, but regretfully, not for the better.

Please help us to spread the word across the state of North Carolina about these unconstitutional statutes which deprive the citizens of their basic right to vote. The North Carolina citizen needs to be made aware of the problem of ballot access restrictions that have plagued freedom, and real political progress since 1901. We encourage everyone to look around the website, learn more about the ballot issue, and see what you can do to make North Carolina free again. For without freedom we are but pawns and slaves to government, and without the right to vote there is no freedom, just a privilege with the illusion of freedom.

The North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections is a Political Action Committee which will work to:

-Educate the people of North Carolina about the state’s unconstitutional and burdensome restrictions on third political parties and unaffiliated candidates.

-Push for change and progress in the North Carolina General Assembly and US Congress to free the ballot and level the playing field for all candidates.

-Inform the people of where their candidates for elected office stand on the ballot issue.

Washed out Democracy? What’s at stake.

Floodwaters may be receding, but damage from Hurricane Matthew will linger for months to come, maybe longer. Residents in counties that saw the worst of the storm, many of whom remain in shelters, are picking up the pieces, and voting likely isn’t at the top of their to-do lists. The hurricane’s obvious impact on early voting and potentially on Election Day will be felt when individuals try to get to the polls, whether it is finding the time to hit pause on their own recovery or finding a polling location that isn’t waterlogged. The extent of the overall impact on the election likely won’t be felt until it’s too late. “Communities like Princeville and Lumberton could have many voters who are unable to make it out early because they cannot access polling places or, because of cleanup or other concerns, may not find the time to vote,” said David McLennan, a visiting professor of political science at Meredith College. “Some communities might be affected through Election Day. Some communities, like Princeville, because they contain high numbers of minority voters, could affect the outcomes of races, even statewide races for governor or U.S. senate if these races are very close.” “Communities like Princeville and Lumberton could have many voters who are unable to make it out…Click To Tweet Princeville is in Edgecombe County and Lumberton is in Robeson. Both are receiving federal assistance to deal with extreme flooding and were among the 36 counties granted extended voter registration as a result of a court order issued last Friday. As of Saturday, there were 38,122 voters registered in Edgecombe County, of which the majority are African American (23,215). More than 27,000 of those voters are registered Democrats and a little over 6,000 are registered Republicans. There are currently 75,574 registered voters in Robeson County, of which the largest group is American-Indian (26,678). More than 50,000 voters are registered Democrats and more than 9,000 are registered Republicans. There are six early voting sites in Robeson County and five in Edgecombe but the numerous road closures near each of the counties polling places can exacerbate even a 10-minute drive. Overall, there are 1,766,903 registered voters in the 36 flood-affected counties receiving federal aid, nearly 66 percent of all registered voters in North Carolina, which saw a 68 percent voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election, according to the State Board of Elections. Board of Elections spokesman Patrick Gannon said the executive director, Kim Westbrook Strach, has been working with county elections boards since before Hurricane Matthew to make sure there are options for voters in flooded areas. “They’ve been working really hard from the start,” he said, adding that a couple local counties’ boards of elections directors took voter registration forms to shelters where residents had evacuated. “From how it looks to us today … we believe that there are options for people to vote early across the state.” Durham resident Carol Rist remembers all too well when her home in Dade County, Florida, was demolished by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Voting was postponed for the hardest hit areas in the primary presidential election at the time. “We voted in tents,” she said. “Although I knew that my vote could not change the election results, since those voting did not have enough votes to change the outcome of the election, nonetheless, I was happy to be able to take part in a very important election.” Rist, in response to seeing the effect Hurricane Matthew had on certain North Carolina areas, said it’s imperative officials continue to do everything in their power to make sure people can vote. “And for those who don’t have the opportunity to register before the deadline, every effort should be made to get them to early voting,” she added. Organizations like Common Cause North Carolina and Democracy North Carolina are also helping, both to get the word out and to get people to the polls. “One can only imagine the incredible disruption in peoples’ lives (the storm) caused,” said Common Cause Executive Director Bob Phillips. “I do think it’s going to be a question mark as to what impact that will have (on voting). It’s kind of an unknown just how much they can take away from picking up the pieces of their lives and vote.” Jen Jones, a spokeswoman for Democracy NC, said the organization has been trying to educate as many people as possible about how, when and where to vote depending on their situation in an effort to clear up the “inevitable confusion.” She said that while many people in the eastern flood-ravaged counties are still focusing on basic needs – food, shelter, work – they also crave a sense of normalcy, which for many includes voting in the upcoming election as they had originally planned. Residents in the following counties have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to register to vote on Election Day: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne and Wilson. Anyone who misses the deadline can still participate in same-day voter registration and vote during the state’s 17-day early voting period, which begins Thursday. Not clear on the rules or want to know more about the candidates on the ballot? Visit Need a ride to the polls during early voting or want to volunteer as a driver or vote protector? Visit

The post Washed out Democracy? What’s at stake. appeared first on NC Policy Watch.

Washed out Democracy?

A week after Hurricane Matthew flooded many of the 99 low-income apartments in the Mt. Sinai Housing Community in south Fayetteville, the curbs are cluttered with sodden couches and chairs, mattresses and blankets.

Scenes like these — common throughout eastern North Carolina — are why the Rev. William Barber demanded last Thursday that the State Board of Elections allow flood-ravaged counties to extend their voter registration deadlines and their polling hours.

The post Washed out Democracy? appeared first on NC Policy Watch.

Democracy NC Responds to Firebombing of NC GOP Office

DURHAM — Statewide voting rights organization Democracy North Carolina released the following statement on the weekend firebombing and vandalism of an Orange County Republican Party office. The following statement can be attributed to Democracy North Carolina Executive Director Bob Hall. “As a nonpartisan organization dedicated to access, fairness and participation in our democracy, we are […]