5 Things to Know About This Year in North Carolina Politics
As 2023 comes to a close, Ann Webb of Common Cause NC looks at five important things to know about this year in North Carolina politics, including fights to defeat gerrymandering and to protect voting rights, as well as a crucial victory for democracy at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Number one: This year, the Republican-controlled legislature pushed through a number of extreme pieces of legislation, often with little-to-no public input. Among these harmful bills were attacks on voting rights in our state.
Senate Bill 747 creates unnecessary barriers that hurt people who rely on absentee voting by mail or same-day voter registration. Meanwhile, Senate Bill 749 would impose sweeping changes to our state’s elections boards that could lead to partisan gridlock, unleash chaos in elections, and threaten to gut early voting.
Both of these anti-voter bills are now being challenged in court.
Number two: A big win for democracy came this year in our case of Moore v. Harper. We went to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a radical power grab by North Carolina politicians who wanted to seize control over congressional elections in our state.
Thankfully, we won our case as the court affirmed the importance of checks and balances. That was a huge victory for the people of North Carolina and for voters across the nation.
Number three: In Raleigh, a handful of legislators haggled behind closed doors for months over North Carolina’s state budget, delaying much-needed teacher pay raises and Medicaid expansion.
Ultimately, the budget was passed into law, but it was filled with a number of bad policies totally unrelated to state spending, such as provisions that would let lawmakers hide important documents from the public, including records dealing with how our state’s voting districts are crafted.
Number four: Speaking of those voting districts, Republican legislators drew new congressional and legislative electoral maps in secret during this year’s session. It was a total failure of transparency and an insult to the people of North Carolina.
What emerged from that broken redistricting process are extreme gerrymanders that attack the rights of voters and especially hurt Black North Carolinians.
Those discriminatory gerrymanders are now being challenged in court, including in a lawsuit filed by a group of North Carolina voters, the NAACP of North Carolina, and we at Common Cause.
Number five: This year, we’ve seen a number of anti-voter laws imposed by extreme politicians. But the people of North Carolina are standing up for our democracy.
More than 2,000 people attended our #UniteNC Town Halls across the state, speaking out on issues that matter to their community and holding lawmakers accountable to the public.
Now, we’re helping people prepare to make their voices heard at the ballot box in 2024 with our “Ready to Vote” events throughout North Carolina. Learn more and find an event near you at ccnc.me/UniteNCed.
LEARN MORE & TAKE ACTION: