Action Alert – NCGOP Budget & Election Integrity


For the last couple of years there’s been much debate over Republican efforts across the nation to restrict voting. Whether it’s the thousands of people who would be affected by VoterID, or the way your County Commission votes were restricted right here in Buncombe, many Republicans seem intent on compromising the power of the people to elect their representatives.

This latest budgetary move really drives home the message that leaders won’t prioritize the foundation of our democracy, ballot access. We know that high turnout is usually bad for Republican chances, so what’s the plan? Under The Dome:

“Absent from the proposed budget is a previously-included $664,000 appropriation that would automatically release $4 million in federal funds to maintain and improve [North Carolina’s] election system.”

And this:

Election officials from more than 85 counties have sent a letter to legislative leaders urging them to release $4 million designated for improving the administration of the 2012 elections.

The funds come from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 and are already in a NC bank account. But as the folks at Democracy North Carolina have pointed out, the General Assembly must appropriate an additional $660,000 to the State Board of Election to meet certain federal guidelines before the final $4 million can be spent.

What will be the result of decreased funding? Aside from fewer poll workers, less technical support, less testing of voting equipment, “counties would likely be forced to operate 100 fewer early voting sites than were available in 2008.

You can let NC Republican leaders know if you’d like to see them release the money to ensure the integrity of our elections and maximize the people’s access to voting. Click here to use the Democracy NC form. You can let the Governor know whether you’d like to see her veto this budget by emailing her here: governor.office@nc.gov


  1. Michael Muller says:

    Gordon, you know as well as I do that no voting rights were “restricted” by going to district elections. You’re full of partisan crap on this one.

    And I see no problem with asking people for identification when they vote. If you’re not invested enough in our society to have some form of basic identification, then you probably ought not to be voting.

    Unless, of course, you’re more than willing to be used by a certain corrupt political party for its own cynical purposes.

  2. cityemployee says:

    The GOP wants to make sure they throw every obstacle up to keep blacks, young people and the poor from voting, that has always been the plan because they are not serious in reaching out to these groups. If they spent half as much time developing policies that may actually attract non-white males to the party and force my party to compete for my vote I would welcome it but no, this is the path they choose. They sad thing for them is that people will adapt and get what they need in order to vote and they have lost credibility with those voters and once you have lost black voters in particular it is damn near impossible to get them back. @ Muller I guess homeless people, the elderly with expired licenses and others have no rights and are not really invested members of our society. I though conservatives would be opposed to mandatory identification, sounds like some type of Obama plot to track us.

  3. shadmarsh says:

    If you’re not invested enough in our society to have some form of basic identification, then you probably ought not to be voting.

    Says the guy who can’t vote or drive…but seriously, it’s an established fact that the GOP’s “get out the vote” strategy has been– for years– to make it as hard to vote as possible. You can dress it up in all sorts of patriotic and/or fear mongering rhetoric, but it doesn’t change that at its core it’s about voter suppression.

  4. Andrew Dahm says:

    Voting is a right, not a privilege. “Consent of the governed,” dontcha know.

    Attempts to restrict suffrage are, on their face, unconstitutional.

    Mr Muller’s use of the word “invested” belies the fact that we’re “endowed” with the right to choose our representatives. The choice of words betrays a fundamental misapprehension of what voting, and democracy, are. If I don’t have a license, do I get 3/5 of a vote? How about if I rent instead of own?

    Plus which, there’s no voter fraud to speak of, and Mr Muller is being dishonest if he says there is – and fraud, after all, is the predicate for all this turnout-squashing.

  5. Wiley says:

    Councilman Smith,

    I find your assertion that high turnout is bad for the GOP odd as it’s patently untrue. Do you mind sharing where you retrieved your facts that support your claim?

    I’ll refer to Wikipedia for the facts, as I find their election statistics to be fairly helpful.

    Granted, Obama set the record for highest turnout in 2008, but Bush’s 2004 re-election set the previous record.

    Bush’s victory in 2004, which you believe was manufactured, had a 6% higher turnout rate than the 2000 election, which was the highest since 1968. Bush and Kerry received more votes than any other in presidential history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2004

    The 2006 elections had 80.9 million voters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_elections,_2006.

    Whereas the 2010 elections, which was a resounding victory by republicans, had 82.5 million voters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_elections,_2010

    I think it’s safe to say that neither side has a monopoly on high turnout, and that the GOP can fair just as well with high turnout.

  6. They can fare pretty well, too.

    /words. who care anymore?

  7. TJ says:

    “They can fare pretty well, too.

    /words. who care anymore?”

    I do 😉

    As to the identification. Until 1990, I had no DL, because I lived in cities where I used the subway and buses, had no need for a car. Got my first DL when I was 30.

    After I moved to NC, I had an expired DL, due to expired tags and tickets that blocked my renewing it. I’ll skip the gory, boring, and utterly traumatizing experience of going between court, Social Security office and DMV (on an almost empty tank of gas, at one point). Bottom line: without one or the other, I could not establish ID for the other form of ID. And, they would not acknowledge my expired DL as a form of ID at SS. Of course, a simple SS card was not sufficient for an ID/DL renewal. Took a few hundred dollars, a trip to court, fines, and an attorney to get it all sorted out. Oh, and it took a little over a year to complete it all.

    I suppose I just hit it lucky that it all didn’t take place during an election.

    Wow! Invested?! Just how much money, time, and energy do I have to invest before I matter?

  8. Davyne Dial says:

    I forgot about a 10 year stretch I had without a valid drivers license. I was fortunate to live in a city with the oldest streetcar line. And it got me to where I needed to go….most of the time. I got a valid license when I moved here back in ’89. Fortunately back then obtaining a license did not tie into all your other Government verifications like it does now.

    Last time for my renewal, I watched while a young man just out of prison was put through humiliating loud questioning, by the insensitive woman behing the counter. There but for the grace…etc.

  9. Michael Muller says:

    Oh Good Lord! If I had a pussy, it would probably be hurting right now.

    Can I say that on TV?

  10. Oh, and by the way cityemployee — with all due respect, you’re Full of Crap too.

    If you actually believe the nonsense you’re spouting, I feel truly sorry for you. Pathetic, really. No personal slight intended, of course. We should meet in person for coffee or drinks.

    Call me anytime. 828-279-6562.


    Are you sure you want to open that can of worms?

    This coming from the same party that for years tried to hide its dirty little eugenics secret? As you might imagine, there are other stories too.


  11. Andrew Dahm says:

    When does the next campaign begin? My guess is the misdirection play is going to get called a whole lot.

  12. RHS says:

    “You’re full of partisan crap…”

    Oh, the irony!

  13. Doug Gibson says:


    Wonderful. It appears we’re back to the “Democrats controlled the state for 120 years, and it was a total mess the entire time” meme. As if the Democratic Party that elected Zebulon Vance governor was the same party that made Dan Blue speaker, nominated Harvey Gantt for the U.S. Senate, went all in for Obama, and so disgusted Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth that they left.

    Not to mention that voting rights are not a party-line issue, or they shouldn’t be.

    We’re saying that the state should make it easier for eligible citizens to vote. What are you saying, exactly? That it’s fine for Republicans to negate some of the steps the state has taken in recent years to expand access to the ballot box. Because—because eugenics! That’s why!

    Damned if I can see anything else to what you’re saying.

  14. TJ says:

    “Can I say that on TV?”

    Well, maybe…but, you did here. So, I’ll respond.

    Well, yes, I suppose you could, but, you are not that far wrong. Of course, it would be a different experience for you, I imagine?

    I can say this, because I have experienced this in many different ways, including the literal. No pity here, please.

    When you go through a system so perverted and damaged, I suppose it should be no surprise that it would seem akin to being raped. And, yes, by the time you get done, months or years later, it does feel that way.

    When someone gets raped, it is not JUST physical. It is mental, emotional, and for me – spiritual(apologies to those with no “other-worldly beliefs”).

    By the time I got through jumping all the hoops, crying all the tears, coping with the mental and emotional stress (to the point I had the security guard at Social Security standing by, “just in case,” because I told my friend working there I could understand why people go ‘postal,’ as I profusely stated that I was NOT thinking about that). I was not the ONLY relieved when I left that day. “How ELSE could they help me, INDEED!” Maybe a few more cathartic tears??

    “Call me anytime. 828-279-6562.”

    Michael, are you still looking for a date?? Just give Gordon’s hat back! 😉

  15. Keith Thomson says:

    MM wrote: “Oh Good Lord! If I had … it would probably be hurting right now.

    Can I say that on TV?”


    Can you say that at Buncombe County Republican Headquarters? Or at the campaign offices for JB Howard?

    You would definitely be eldered by someone at Democratic Headquarters, (me, if I was there at the time) if you went around talking like that in mixed company.

    I guess I am old fashioned. MY parents were Eisenhower Republicans back when the John Birch Society (rebranded recently as TEA Party, with identical issues) claimed President Eisenhower was a “Communist stooge.” My, how far to the right the Republicans have been drug since then.

    The reason I am interested, and will not give it a rest until I know, in whose campaigns you are running is to see how much diversity and sophistication that Republicans are capable of handling. I will rest easier knowing that you are keeping them straight.

    Enjoy a beautiful weekend,

  16. Hazelite says:

    Micheal’s comments have been lame (unnecessarily coarse, not insightful) lately. I enjoy a healthy debate and a clever barb thrown now and then, but his thoughts have been neither. Too bad, in the past I’ve enjoyed his contributions.

  17. Gordon Smith says:

    It’s disturbing having Michael suddenly become so combative without disclosing which political organizations or candidates are paying him to do so. Nice secret work if you can get it, I guess. I think it’s unethical to act as a paid operative on a blog without disclosing it.

    As to unilaterally changing 220 years of voting tradition in Buncombe County, disallowing a vote on the change, reducing my votes from 5 to 3, and packing the bulk of the progressive vote into one district – it’s clear that my voting power was restricted in a few different ways by Rep. Moffitt and the Republicans who supported his in the General Assembly. You can sputter all you like, but this was the beginning of a string of bully bills brought without the consent of the rest of the delegation or the governments and citizenry which they affect. It’s bad government. There’s no getting around it.

    Have fun arguing that Democrats are being partisan for pointing it out. Sounds like the bully whining that someone called him out on his bad behavior.

  18. Andrew Dahm says:

    Other fun strategies for Mr Muller:

    “Sir, why is there a revolver in your glove compartment?”

    “Your police union owns stock in Colt Firearms – don’t take that tone with me!”

    “Son, why is there pornography in your dresser drawer?”

    “You and mom have sex – don’t take that tone with me!”

    Grow up, dude.

  19. Dixiegirlz says:

    Ummmm…boundaries, need some established, here.

  20. cityemployee says:

    Michael Muller, Why in God’s name would I ever venture into public with you? you talk real big on here but if you ever were to say half the crap you do to peoples faces you would not have any teeth left. But I will excuse you since you seem to do a lot of drunk posting.

    Instead of getting so combative you should be encouraging people in your party to be more inclusive and do some real outreach to different types of voters. But that requires actual time, patience and a little hard work. The poor, women, the colored and the young are members of this society too and have the right to exercise their right to vote the problem appears to be since they don’t vote republican they should not be allowed to. This is not a voter fraud problem,the problem is that the republican party has locked its self into a demographic that is stagnant and not representative of the population as a whole and has moved farther to right. That’s a personal problem.

    One way to get around all of these tricks is absentee by mail, we as democrats should encourage a vote from Home initiative, NO ID Required.

  21. Michael Muller says:

    It was not my intention to offend anyone with my off-color language and I apologize for doing so.

    Sometimes my humor doesn’t translate very well. I regret the choice of words.


  22. I just want everyone to know that I would tell anyone, at any time, who I was working for if someone wanted to, say, pay me a few hundred dollars a week to do whatever it is that these “operatives” do.

    I’m trainable. I do, despite whatever Mr. Cates thinks, have a college degree.


    Call now and get a bonus sock puppet account on the first two forums you want me to troll, as well as an extra twitter account to retweet all the best stuff back and forth. I currently have a klout score near 50 and expect to be able to boost that with this one little secret that I learned on the internet.

    You can learn it, too, for the low, low price of $49.95. Reply back if you’re interested and I’ll post a paypal link for you to send the money too.

    Act fast! Even someone as hyperactive as me has limits and I probably won’t be able to parrot more than three or four different viewpoints in the amount of time given to us in the day by either the cold, dispassionate work of the universe, or GOD HIMSELF, depending on who’s paying me to talk!

  23. shadmarsh says:

    What Mat said, except I’ll do it for less.

  24. I’ll do it better.

  25. Tom Sullivan says:

    Nice little primer here on vote suppression:

    “Voter suppression” differs conceptually from outright disfranchisement because it does not involve formally disqualifying entire groups of people from the polls; instead, policies or acts of “suppression” seek to prevent, or deter, eligible citizens from exercising their right to vote. Historically, voter suppression seems to arise when organized political forces aim to restrain the political participation of particular groups but cannot, politically or constitutionally, disfranchise them outright.

    Much more at the link.

  26. Andrew Dahm says:

    Cheaper always wins.

  27. Tom Sullivan says:

    Contempt vote connections to voter suppression efforts

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

  28. “Cheaper always wins.”

    Which is ultimately the cause of the economic collapse. No kidding. I’m working on a book about it.

    I only need 50K to get really going on it.

  29. Doug Gibson says:


    If you’re going to unerringly tow the party line, you might want to toe it instead.

    Just sayin’.

  30. Gordon Smith says:


    Counties will spend more this year on the election because Republican lawmakers failed to secure $4 million in federal funds, according to the N.C. Elections Boards Association president.
    The appropriation would have restored the state Board of Elections to its 2000 funding level, a requirement by the federal government to get the money.

    But lawmakers failed to make the appropriation in the budget last week.

    Hudson said he was disappointed.

    “It’s been my experience that there are very few times that you get almost a 7-to-1 return for your money, and that is what the HAVA funds were,” he said. “That is too good an opportunity to turn down.”

    Now, he said, the state’s taxpayers will cover the cost while the federal funds go elsewhere.
    Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Asheville, who supported getting the federal funds, said this is the last year of the program. She said the conservative push to distance the state from any federal spending was at work in the decision.

    “We are pulling a South Carolina and saying we don’t want your federal money,” she said.

    Fisher said some Republicans want to change voting from a right of all to a privilege for the few.

    “I think they don’t want it to be easy for people to vote,” she said. “They want to make it as difficult as possible.”

  31. “Mat,
    If you’re going to unerringly tow the party line, you might want to toe it instead.
    Just sayin’.”


  32. mcates says:


    […you should be encouraging people in your party to be more inclusive and do some real outreach to different types of voters.]

    I would suggest it is already happening, but that’s good advice for everyone. Do you think you are up for that? From your comments it is difficult to tell.

    [But that requires actual time, patience and a little hard work.]

    It requires more than that. It takes a willingness to subject oneself to a great deal of absurdities.

    [The poor, women, the colored and the young are members of this society too and have the right to exercise their right to vote]

    They do, but as far as I can tell you seem to be the one who has set a threshold for participation.

    Also, on the other thread you accused me of not knowing anything about working class individuals. My comment was in response to the false accusation you made. And since, you brought up race, if you are willing to come out from behind your pseudonym and get to know me, I am pretty sure you would be surprised to learn more about my background.

  33. How do we know you’re the real Mark Cates? There are two people here using similar names. One of you could be an evil Agenda 21 Communist Robot.

  34. shadmarsh says:

    I am pretty sure you would be surprised to learn more about my background.

    He was voted “Omaha’s best cuddler” in 1996.

  35. cityemployee says:

    @mcates: Respectfully, I doubt if I could possibly gain anything from “learning about” your background. We both have our views and I have no reason to change mine, I have not been able to get this far by being stupid.
    The rest of your response to my previous post I will not even dignify.

  36. TJ says:

    Well, Mark, someone is getting the 50k. Too bad you missed it.

  37. Tom Sullivan says:

    “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.” — Mike Turzai, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader

    Maddow blog: Accidental candor about voter ID

    The Republicans in attendance cheered, and I suppose that’s to be expected — the disenfranchisement of traditional Democratic voters is bound to make Republicans applaud.

    But but the state lawmaker’s candor was a reminder that Pennsylvania’s voter-ID law isn’t about the integrity of the process; it’s about ensuring Republican victories by rigging the game.

    That’s not exactly news, is it?

    [h/t Crooks and Liars]

  38. I am literally recycling every stupid gag I’ve done already today:

    Asheville: City of Bees


  39. TJ says:

    Are you bored, Mat?

    Actually, I caught the link to another one by him, and it reminds me of BID and a lot of other Amendments and agreements the gov’t officials make or ask us to agree to.


    Thanks for the intro. 😉

  40. I am *extremely* bored.

    And agitated.

    Does it show?

  41. TJ says:

    “Does it show?”

    Pretty much. Wait, oh, I mean, NOT AT ALL! (lest I become the focus of your angst).

    Actually, I heard it has been weird for several people I know. I’m not the planetary, climate change, whatever the black cat did under the ladder as it licked the salt tossed backward sort of person, but…who knows?

  42. Roger E. Hartley says:


    It matters greatly where that turnout is. The issue here is that heavily Democrat areas such as urban ones may not be able to quickly and efficiently move people through or make use of the early vote. In rural areas where the GOP dominates, there are fewer real lines to get stuck in. Add to this the clear intention of slowing things down by asking for ID and the national effort by conservatives to challenge voters at the polls…and you get big lines…slow voting…people leave or do not vote at all.

    You cannot deny that the nationwide strategy on voting of the GOP is to raise the cost in time and effort to vote? We all know this and so does the GOP.

  43. Roger E. Hartley says:

    Bingo Tom. And the effort to impose voter I’d bills and other reforms to make it more difficult to vote is a well coordinated national legislative strategy brought from state to state.

  44. Wiley says:


    I must have gotten kicked off the email listserve, because I haven’t received any messages from Robin Hayes or Rince Preibus/Prince Reibus that says the Republican game plan is to suppress voter turnout.

    I completely disagree with your assertion, but you’re also arguing a different point than the one I made. Gordon’s factually incorrect premise (of which I’m still waiting for him to say where he got his facts from, but as Shad said in the birther thread “silence is telling”) is that the GOP does poorly when there is high turnout.

    Mathematically, that’s just not true. 2000 and 2004 were good years for republicans, and both years had high turnout with 2004 being a then record setting year. In other words, there was high turnout and republicans prevailed.

    2008 was a record setting year, and democrats did well.

    2010 was a once-a-century good year for republicans, and more people voted in 2010 than voted in 2006, which was a banner year for democrats.

    Republicans have no reason to fear high turnout, they do well when there is high turnout – so the idea that they want to suppress the vote is silly. They have nothing to fear.

    Secondly, your statement that there are fewer lines in the rural areas to get stuck in doesn’t make sense. Why would that be? Each precinct has it’s own polling place. Precincts are drawn in rough proportions of population. (http://alturl.com/hpnqx).

    Looking at the precincts, city precincts, the range roughly from 1500-3000 people per precinct. The county seems to range roughly from 1500-4000 per precinct (generally the smaller numbers and highest numbered precincts are city precincts). The line should be the same everywhere – shouldn’t it?

    As for your ID claim – Read comment 22: http://alturl.com/h2a5r. It’s a story at this very site by Doug Gibson about how someone had marked his name off for voting when he hadn’t voted, and he had to spend extra time at the polling place. Perhaps ID’s would have prevented that issue and sped up the process?

  45. cityemployee says:

    Wiley, what happens when black, latino and young voters turnout in high numbers? They don’t tend to vote for Republicans so of course they would want to do all they can to prevent those groups from voting in high numbers. When turnout is not only high but diverse it forces the Republicans to rely on a older, whiter segment of the population and that does not get them across the finish line. As an NC elections judge for many years and in many precincts there has never been even a hint of fraud or any wrong doing. Republican and Democratic election judges take our role very seriously and go above and beyond what is required to preserve the integrity of our electoral system. This id nonsense is a solution in search of a problem and the problem seems to be with those who are not Republicans.

  46. Tom Sullivan says:

    And how would requiring voters to present ID have prevented the election judge’s clerical error? (That was a rhetorical question.)

  47. TJ says:

    “(That was a rhetorical question.)”

    Now, Tom, why did you go and say that? It could have been very entertaining (if not enlightening) to see the responses. 😎

  48. Wiley says:

    City Employee,

    2004 was a better election for republicans than was 2000. In 2000, 80% of the voting populace was white, and in 2004 77% of the voting populace was white – Bush and the republicans did better despite the share of the white vote shrinking.


    What’s more interesting are the 2006 and 2010 exit polls. In 2006, 79% of the voting population was white, and in 2010, 77% of the population was white (using CNN exit polling data). Sure, it’s small, but 2000 and 2004 showed that results are all in the margins.

    So again, republicans have done fine electorally with a shrinking white vote. Additionally, I tend to agree with writers such as Sean Trende who make sound arguments that the Latino/a vote isn’t necessarily a given for the democrats over the long term.

    Republicans have nothing to fear from high turnout.

    As for voter ID, I guess 74% of North Carolinians disagree with you, as does Justice Stevens.

    Nor do voter ID laws necessarily diminish minority turnout, or that of the elderly. Minority turnout increased in Georgia in 2006 after they passed a form of voter ID: page 6, http://www.fed-soc.org/doclib/20070328_voteridpaper.pdf

  49. Gordon Smith says:

    I’m guessing CAPSLOCK is one of the two evil forces that control us.

  50. shadmarsh says:

    Duh, its NOT ‘capslock’, if you will note only certain words that need emphasis are capitalized.

    If you need to emphasize every third word, may be doing it wrong. I don’t know what “it” is exactly, as you seem to exist is some reality that I am not (thankfully) familiar with.

  51. Gordon Smith says:

    Oh good. I thought your keyboard might’ve been invaded by Agenda 21. If you’re seeking to emphasize some words without shouting at folks, consider the fancy html tags listed above the Comment Box. For italics, for bold, heck, you can even get very fancy and use strike. I think your opinions are fascinating, and the allcaps situation is distracting. Thanks for listening.

  52. shadmarsh says:

    Try the decafe.

  53. Tom Sullivan says:

    Oooohh! On your way to a gift card.

  54. TJ says:

    Tom, I think ScruHoo should offer a t-shirt for some kind of contest.

    I think David Cohen could do an awesome cartoon on it. 😉

    I wear a medium to large, depending upon the cut.

    What would it be for? I won’t do ANYTHING for a Klondike, but, I’m looking forward to a SH shirt.

  55. Davyne Dial says:

    ScrooHoo t shirts could be a source of funding for this site. I’d buy one. A ScrooHoo t-shirt might just make me look cool. (:-|~)

  56. TJ says:

    I love it, Davyne! And David Cohen could get a fee for his share 😉

    It’d be worth it. I mean, if Firestorm can sell a shirt for almost 20.00, surely, we could get one for 15 here. I even know a guy who’d print them at a nominal fee.

    And, you could get a % for the original idea 😉

    THEN, you’d be REALLY cool 😎

  57. Dixiegirlz says:

    Asheville’s Progressive

  58. Tom Sullivan says:

    Poli-woli-bloggy get a mighty POW!

  59. TJ says:

    Don’t forget the Cesspool of Sin part.

    Feeling stuck? Uninformed?

    Join ScruHoo and get all the inside info on the cesspool of Asheville.

  60. Dixiegirlz says:

    Feeling too Holy?
    Visit Screwy Hooey,
    Voice of the
    “Cesspool of Sin”.

  61. TJ says:

    “Voice of the
    “Cesspool of Sin”.”