Beasley vs. Budd trending blue, Voting rights expansion, Moore vs Harper

NC Policy Watch, Kirk Ross, 07/26/2022

The pivotal contest that some had already conceded to the GOP is shaping up to be tighter than expected

With less than three months to go before early voting begins, North Carolina’s closely watched competition for an open U.S. Senate seat remains as close as it is contentious. At the start of the summer, the race between Rep. Ted Budd and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley appeared to tip in favor of the Republican.

Between historic trends that run counter to the president’s midterm party and inflation that’s dragging down Joe Biden’s approval ratings, Budd got the nod in the race’s national ratings.

But a series of headlines in the nation’s capital, hardline votes in the U.S. House and lackluster fundraising have put Budd on the defensive and the question of who will make it through to retire Senator Richard Burr to three terms, is seriously questioned.

Two recent polls from pro-GOP sources put Beasley behind, but still within the margin of error.

More disenfranchised, ‘second chance voters’ can register and vote – for now

NC Policy Watch, , Kelan Lyons, 07/29/2022

Allowing those on probation and parole to vote marks the biggest expansion of voting rights in North Carolina since the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Daquan Peters wasted no time registering to vote on Wednesday. He hadn’t been fast enough last year, during a 10 day window between court proceedings when people like him — those who were home after spending time in jail for a crime but still on probation or parole — were briefly re-emancipated.

This time, Peters signed up on the first day he could.

“I wanted my voice and my vote to be counted immediately,” Peters said. “Because I know how bad the system is.”

More than 56,000 North Carolina citizens who, like Peters, are on parole, probation or on post-release supervision for a felony conviction could legally register to vote Wednesday, the product of a three-year legal battle over the state’s disenfranchisement law. Now the only people who cannot vote because of a criminal record are those who are currently incarcerated for a crime.

Experts warn of election ‘havoc’ in US if North Carolina deal succeeds

NC Policy Watch, Ariana Figueroa, 07/29/2022

Moore vs. Harper case brought by NC GOP could undo fundamentals of US election

WASHINGTON — Legal experts warned lawmakers on the U.S. House Administration Committee on Thursday that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a North Carolina case that embraces a fringe election theory, it would undermine future elections. Across the country.

“To be frank, it would be extraordinarily destabilizing,” said Carolyn Shapiro, professor of law at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

The committee held the hearing in response to concerns that the Supreme Court might uphold the state legislature’s so-called theory, which argues that the Constitution gives legislatures the ability to regulate federal elections without the oversight of state courts.

Conservative activists pushed the theory, especially after the 2020 presidential election, when then-President Donald Trump used the theory to try to overturn the election results, said Eliza Sweren-Becker of the Brennan Center for Justice, which is a nonprofit liberal law and public policy institute.

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