North Carolina lawmakers went through extensive lengths in an attempt to cut down the minority vote for the local 2013 elections.
The Pasquotank County board of elections, which is predominantly Republican, prevented a student of a black college from running for city council, and the Watauga County election board axed a university early voting station.
Despite county attempts to stifle Elizabeth City State University senior Montravias King, the state election board swooped in and trumped the Pasquotank County ruling. In early October, King got elected to the Elizabeth City council. In Watauga County, a Democrat won the mayorship in Boone, NC and three more were elected to the city council.
Moyers & Company noted that “These local elections had far more exposure because of GOP attempts to restrict voting than they otherwise would have. . . voters don’t like it when you try to limit their voting rights.” What’s ascertained here is that voter suppression laws get coverage, and the people know and understand the implications of those laws. That implication is that Republicans are trying to constrict the minority vote.
And when people are put on notice of politicians blatantly trying to topple their rights, it lights a fire and ignites a motivation among those people that are targeted. Some may even vote just because someone is trying to keep them from voting.
This attitude is indicative of the voting numbers in the 2012 presidential elections. In 2012, the African-American vote accounted for 13 percent of all casted votes. African-Americans make up 12 percent of the eligible vote. However, thanks to higher courts, many of the states that tried to enact voter suppression measures ended up having those laws struck down. Out of eight states that tried, only two maintained.
But the news coverage of these states even making an attempt created huge buzz in minority communities. Minorities recognized that their voting rights were being tampered with and they responded, resulting in an increased voter turnout, much to the chagrin of Republican-voter suppression supporters.
Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions, a Latino polling and research firm, said “There were huge organizing efforts in the black, Hispanic and Asian communities, more than there would’ve been, as a direct result of the voter suppression efforts.”