Could North Carolina Voter Suppression Win Trump the Election?
North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber at a Moral Monday rally.

Could North Carolina Voter Suppression Win Trump the Election?

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After FBI Director James Comey’s bombshell letter to congressional leaders – in which he vaguely refers to emails discovered in an ongoing investigation into disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner which may or may not be relevant to the concluded Clinton email probe – the presidential race has grown a lot closer.

Indeed, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver now gives Donald Trump a higher probability of winning the election than the Cubs had winning the World Series before going on to break the team’s 108-year title draught.

Dirty tricks in some key swing states – including North Carolina, part of Clinton’s “firewall” – could tip the scales and make this hitherto unthinkable scenario a very real possibility.

In the Tar Heel state, the NAACP has filed a lawsuit against state authorities for excessive voter registration purges that are happening just before the election and that the organization claims are explicitly targeted at black populations.

On Monday, the North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber spoke about his organization’s actions:

The Tar Heel state is ground zero in the intentional surgical efforts by Republicans — or extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party — to suppress the voice of voters. The NAACP is defending the rights of all North Carolinians to participate in this election.

When a voter faces the prospect of their registration being revoked in North Carolina, they must appear in court to challenge their purge from the rolls. For poor and minority voters without the means, communications access, or availability to respond in such a manner mere weeks before an election, this complicates their right to vote. Furthermore, these purges are occurring in dominantly black areas, a not-so-subtle hint at the authorities’ intention.

Factor in leaked emails earlier this year in which North Carolina state Republicans discussed curtailing early voting (a system that benefits busy, non-salaried employees who may have to forgo voting unless they risk indispensable pay or even their jobs) in order to hamstring their Democratic opponents, and it becomes increasingly difficult to argue that voter suppression efforts are not currently underway in this vital state.

These actions could have big consequences. They could, in fact, usher Donald Trump – a woefully unfit, thin-skinned bully with virtually no comprehension of international affairs – into the single most powerful office in the United States.

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