Opinion: The Woodshed

NAACP wants felons to vote, while nullifying your ballot

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The NAACP is backing an effort to add more than 50,000 felons to North Carolina’s voting rolls. At the same time, they are trying to nullifying 9.6 million votes from law-abiding citizens.

Even worse: The group won’t stop with a current lawsuit at the state Supreme Court involving felons who have completed their active prison time. Past statements and partnerships, like those with The Sentencing Project, indicate that the NAACP supports voting rights for prisoners behind bars — including convicted killers, rapists, and drug dealers.

This is not speculation. This is what two NAACP lawsuits now headed to the state Supreme Court hope to achieve.

Carolina Journal has reported on the NAACP v. Moore case. The lawsuit seeks to nullify the votes of North Carolina citizens to amend the state Constitution after voters approved Voter I.D in 2018. Included in their lawsuit is nullifying the votes that lowered the maximum income tax rate allowed. Both amendments passed easily. However, the NAACP argues that the more than 4 million votes to amend the constitution should be nullified because some lawmakers were elected from unlawful districts.

Carolina Journal recently reported that Democrats on the state Supreme Court appear willing to accept the NAACP’s never applied reasoning and may nullify the amendments while siding with the NAACP in a naked partisan political effort to remove two duly elected Republican justices in the case.

If this scheme works, 9.6 million votes for amendments and for the two judges will be nullified.

In an absurdly comical move by the NAACP, they filed a motion to remove Justice Phil Berger Jr. from the case, despite the fact that the law in question was passed by a fully Democratic-controlled General Assembly in the early 1970s, three decades before Phil Berger Sr. ever entered the General Assembly.

North Carolina law only allows convicted felons to vote after fully completing their sentences is fully in line with many other states across the country.  In February of 2021, the ACLU of North Carolina lauded their litigation work that resulted in “early release of at least 3,500 people in state custody, making it among the largest prison releases in the country achieved via COVID-19 litigation efforts.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures:

“It has been common practice in the United States to make felons ineligible to vote, in some cases permanently. Over the last few decades, the general trend has been toward reinstating the right to vote at some point.”

  • In the District of Columbia, Maine Vermont, and Puerto Rico felons never lose their right to vote, even while they are incarcerated.
  • In 21 states, felons lose their voting rights only while incarcerated, and receive automatic restoration upon release.
  • In 16 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration, and for a period after, typically while on parole and/or probation. Voting rights are automatically restored after this time period. Former felons may also have to pay any outstanding fines, fees, or restitution before their rights are restored as well.
  • In 11 states felons lose their voting rights indefinitely for some crimes or require a governor’s pardon for voting rights to be restored, face an additional waiting period after completion of sentence (including parole and probation) or require additional action before voting rights can be restored.

To be clear, if the NAACP-North Carolina is successful they will not stop. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is already advocating for violent felons to be able to vote, while behind bars, even for those serving life sentences. The NAACP regularly holds voter registration drives in jails, and in some prisons.

The NAACP supports U.S. House Democrats HR-1 that would also mandate that convicted felons could vote “unless such individual is serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility at the time of the election.” This measure would also allow felons who have not paid fines, finished probation and/or parole, or paid required restitution to their victims.

Some Democrats worked to amend HR-1 to include “behind bars voting.”

The Alliance for Justice also advocates for “behind bars felon voting and says the famous Attica prison riot that killed 39 people may not have happened if incarcerated people were allowed to cast ballots.

Think about the exponential increase in people who would become civically engaged if incarcerated people were allowed to vote — and how that might shift the balance of power,” wrote Soffiyah Elijah in the New York Daily News.

This is not the first time that the NAACP-North Carolina has supported a massive disenfranchisement of North Carolina voters.

The NAACP supported Democratic legislators and former Gov. Bev. Perdue’s 2008 move to strip partisan identification off the ballot in judicial races, denying voters critical information to make an informed decision.

As noted by the Associated Press, the NAACP also fought efforts to return partisan labels to judicial elections, encouraging Gov. Cooper to veto the effort in 2017.

“We want him to veto that bill,” the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP and a vocal critic of Republican legislators said at a Legislative Building news conference Wednesday. “The judiciary should not be partisan.”

Denying voters the critical information of how judicial candidates were registered resulted in a massive drop in voter participation in judicial elections.

“The change from nonpartisan to partisan judicial elections in 2018 gave us a natural experiment on the relationship between partisan vs. nonpartisan elections and drop-off,” said Dr. Andy Jackson director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity at the John Locke Foundation.

  • The drop-off from presidential to NC Supreme Court elections in 2016: 16.45%
  • The drop-off from presidential to NC Supreme Court elections in 2020: 2.68%

Applying the reasoning that the NAACP uses in opposing Voter I.D, any mere inconvenience to voters or adding any additional burdens to voting equals disenfranchisement. The NAACP is partly responsible for millions of North Carolina voters being denied critical information allowing them to make informed decisions in judicial elections resulting in millions of North Carolina voters being disenfranchised from judicial elections between 2008-2018.

In summary:

The NAACP is working to nullify millions of legally cast votes in 2018, and to nullify the voters’ decision to include Voter I.D. and a lower top tax rate in the state Constitution.

To achieve that and their goal of granting convicted felons the ability to vote, despite not finishing their sentences, paying their fines, or paying their victims court-mandated restitution, they want to erase millions of legal votes and two GOP supreme court justices.

The NAACP claims to be one of the oldest and largest civil rights organizations.  However, if you are not a felon and vote for causes and candidates they don’t agree with, you are an enemy. Consequently, you and your vote must be nullified.