Saturday, July 30, 2011

General Assembly Update (July 30, 2010)

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvened this month to finalize redistricting and to address other unfinished business. Here are some notable outcomes:

General Assembly approves redistricting maps

New maps for Congressional districts as well as state House and Senate districts were approved by the General Assembly. These maps will now have to be approved by the Department of Justice or a federal court before they officially go into effect.

As expected, the new maps were a source of controversy across the state. Democrats accused Republicans of gerrymandering districts while Republicans argued that they followed the law and crafted districts that are "fair and legal."

General Assembly fails to override Voter ID Veto

State legislators attempted to override Governor Perdue's veto of legislation that would require voters to present a valid form of photo ID before voting. The legislation was intended to stifle voter fraud and protect the integrity of the ballot box. Unfortunately, the override of Perdue's veto failed as the Republican majority in the state House were not able to get any Democrats to join them in the override. State legislators voted along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor of the override while Democrats voted against it.

This issue is expected to be a major factor in the 2012 elections. Most polls indicate that the vast majority of North Carolina voters favor photo ID requirements for voting.

General Assembly advances restrictions for abortion

The General Assembly was successful in overriding Governor Perdue's veto of legislation that would place new restrictions on abortions in North Carolina. The legislation requires health providers to fully disclose the potential health implications from having an abortion and to provide the patient with images from an ultrasound. It also requires those seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours after consulting with a health provider before proceeding with the procedure.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Letter to the Editor

Here's an excellent letter to the editor that appeared in today's edition of the Greensboro News & Record:

Voter ID requirement safeguards elections

Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the Voter ID bill and has demonstrated partisan politics at its worst. She chose to ignore the will of more than 75 percent of North Carolinians who view presenting a photo ID to vote as simple logic. To most citizens, it makes sense to implement the same requirements for voting as are in place for opening a bank account, cashing a check, renting a hotel room or even visiting the governor's own office in Raleigh.

Many of the requirements to present ID are designed to prevent fraudulent transactions involving our money. Isn't the integrity of our elections at least as important as the integrity of a checking account?

People moving to North Carolina from other states are amazed when they show up at the polls to vote the first time and find there are absolutely no requirements to prove your identity. Twenty-nine states in the U.S. require some type of identification for all voters. Voter ID is a common-sense safeguard for our election system. It provides integrity in the process and restores voter confidence in our elections.

Jeff Cox

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Here's wishing you and yours a happy and safe 4th of July. I feel very fortunate to have been born in America. Many thanks to all of those who have fought to protect and defend our freedom.

Happy Birthday, America!