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.

The Follies: The core of HB2 is about discrimination not bathrooms

One of the most maddening aspects of the absurd debate about HB2 since it was introduced and passed in a rushed special legislative session a year ago has been the almost exclusive focus on the provisions of the bill that regulate access to bathrooms and other public facilities. HB2 does prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity even though more than 100 cities across the country allow it and have had none of the safety issues that HB2 supporters ominously predicted would occur in Charlotte. But HB2 deals with a lot more than bathrooms. It prohibits cities from passing any nondiscrimination ordinances to protect LGBTQ from being fired or denied access to services. It bans cities from passing local wage ordinances or requiring local contractors to meet certain wage guidelines. It even denies access to state courts for workers suing for discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, etc., access that was only partially restored by the General Assembly. HB2 was never a “bathroom bill,” despite all the offensive demagoguery about the results of allowing transgender people the same access to facilities corresponding to their gender identity that other cities allow. The law that has cost North Carolina at least $600 million in lost revenue and tens of thousands of jobs is at its core about basic civil rights for LGBTQ people in the state. It is the last desperate gasp of people committed to denying those rights. That was clear a few weeks ago in the opposition to a misguided “compromise” proposal that would continue to ban local governments from allowing transgender people the dignity they deserve when using public facilities and allow cities and counties to enact nondiscrimination policies protecting LGBTQ on the job only after a public referendum. Protecting gay people from being fired simply because they are gay would be up for a vote. Democrats, including Gov. Roy Cooper, indicated that they would support the flawed compromise if legislative leaders would simply drop the referendum required for basic LGBTQ protections. But Republicans refused, even though the bathroom issue they claimed to be most worried about was addressed. They could not bring themselves to allow local governments to protect gay people from discrimination. Even more compelling evidence that the fundamental battle for basic civil rights is at the core of the HB2 debate came Thursday as House Speaker Tim Moore met with reporters to talk about the status of his negotiations with Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger on a new compromise bill to change the law. Moore said that any local ordinance must be consistent with federal law which does not explicitly provide protections from discrimination for LGBTQ people, but many states include such protections and many others allow local governments to provide them. Moore also said that North Carolina has been unfairly maligned because of HB2, claiming that South Carolina has a very similar law. But South Carolina allows cities to pass their own ordinances and it is illegal in Columbia to deny services to someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Moore and other supporters of HB2 want to deny Raleigh and Charlotte the right to do the same thing. North Carolina’s law is not like South Carolina’s and former Gov. Nicki Haley last year explicitly rejected suggestions that her state adopt their own version of HB2. During the debate in the infamous special session last March, both the House and Senate refused to consider proposals by Democrats to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the statewide nondiscrimination law. Republican legislative leaders are wrong to ban cities in North Carolina from allowing transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity—as many cities have allowed without incident—and the lawmakers’ inflammatory rhetoric defending their position is offensive. But the real issue is basic civil rights for LGBTQ people in our state. That is clearer than ever now, no matter how hard Moore and other supporters of HB2 try to divert our attention from their desperate stand in support of discrimination.

The post The Follies: The core of HB2 is about discrimination not bathrooms appeared first on NC Policy Watch.

Enough is enough: tax-cutting frenzy threatens North Carolina’s future

Two weeks ago a group of state Senate leaders unveiled a plan to raise principal pay in North Carolina and raise funds for school construction in rural areas. Both are good ideas.

Many small and poor counties don’t have the tax base to afford to build new schools and North Carolina ranks 50th in principal compensation.

The post Enough is enough: tax-cutting frenzy threatens North Carolina’s future appeared first on NC Policy Watch.