The NC Vote Defenders are a group of concerned students and young people who want to do everything they can to protect the right to vote for all of North Carolina’s citizens. We are alarmed at what many are calling “the most suppressive voting laws in the country” being passed in our state, and we cannot let North Carolina repress its people and limit access to the ballot box for students, working families, and people of color.
So we decided to do something about it.
We formed the NC Vote Defenders to organize a youth response to the racist and immoral legislation that has been passed in our state.
North Carolina will soon have the most repressive voting laws in the nation. Some of these regulations will come into effect in 2016, but the fact remains: the General Assembly in North Carolina is trying to suppress the vote. Now, because of Gov. McCrory and the legislature, North Carolinians will soon be required to provide a state-issued ID (although a university ID will not count). Early registration for 16 and 17 year olds is being done away with. The early voting period is being shortened by a week. Same-day registration will no longer exist. Why are those in power so eager to make it harder to vote?
Simply put, they do no want you to vote.
Many of these new laws directly target working people, people of color, and students – the constituents that make up what is becoming the new majority in North Carolina, and indeed, the entire south. This is the majority North Carolina’s government is trying to silence.
But we refuse to be silenced.
The vote is foundation of a truly representative government. Our legislature is supposed to enact the will of the people – but how can they know the people’s will if they will not let all of the citizens of our state vote?
They cannot. And their blatant attempts to disenfranchise various populations cannot stand.
Vote Defenders are now hard at work
In a state stained by a history of poll taxes and Jim Crow laws, students from around North Carolina are banding together to create a grassroots movement to oppose these discriminatory laws. Because of our passion for our state, our commitment to equal rights, and our belief that the vote is the foundation of a truly representative government, we, the NC Vote Defenders, came together to challenge North Carolina’s discriminatory new voting laws. At Appalachian State, UNC-Charlotte, Elizabeth City State University, and North Carolina State University, Vote Defenders are organizing groups of students to work against immoral voting laws and for equal rights.
The mission of the Vote Defenders is simple. We seek to:
1) Educate citizens on how and when voting laws are changing
2) Monitor key precincts for any voter intimidation or voter suppression
3) Seek remedy through thoroughly documenting any voter issues or incidents that occur at these precincts
It is time to make North Carolina an inclusive republic, not a divisive one. Say no the narrow agenda of the Governor and the General Assembly. Say no to a new Jim Crow. Say no to discrimination.
Say yes to equal rights for all.