ecoWURD: In North Carolina, Climate Change & Voter Suppression Worked Hand-in-Hand
The clearest cautionary tale, to date, on one aspect of elections that could worsen with climate crisis
|the b|e note||Jan 11, 2019|
by G.S. Potter | from ecoWURD
North Carolina’s 9th Congressional district went from one hot mess to one of the most blatant, out-in-the-open examples of election fraud in recent memory. Because of that, we probably won’t know if there will be a new election anytime soon – especially after the state elections board was just dissolved. But was it simply ballot thefts or “harvesting” that led to all of this in the first place?
A deeper answer takes us to an unexpected place: Climate change.
In North Carolina, it’s supposedly illegal for anyone other than a relative to turn in an absentee ballot for a voter. Thanks to Hurricane Florence in September, however, that all changed. Praised by the NAACP just prior to the 2018 midterm as a “victory for voters,” restrictions on absentee ballots were relaxed in a well-intentioned effort to make it easier for displaced residents to vote.
With so many North Carolinians displaced, and right before the elections, voters were permitted to return their complete absentee ballots to any early voting site or elections office anywhere in the state. That seemed convenient, nothing more than a harmless and sensible solution at the time.
But no one imagined Republican candidate Mark Harris (except, well, Mark Harris), or any candidate for that matter, would use the situation to steal ballots.