Defending Democracy

Speaker Mike Johnson

How U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson helped derail a fight against election lies

BY: - November 23, 2023

Back in July, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. A federal court had recently granted a temporary injunction, in Missouri v. Biden, finding that the Biden administration had violated the First Amendment by coercing social media companies to remove content, related both to elections and the COVID-19 vaccine, that […]

Paper with The Freedom of Information Act FOIA on a table

Worries over secrecy grow as state officials shield records from the public

BY: - November 20, 2023

Just weeks after lawmakers in Little Rock passed legislation shielding certain state records from public disclosure, opponents launched an effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to protect access to government documents. “The coalition that’s coming together on this is about as broadly bipartisan as you could get — from the extreme, extreme right to the […]

COMMENTARY
Donald Trump pointing with his mouth open in front of several American flags

Casualties of the culture wars

BY: - November 18, 2023

I don’t recognize North Carolina today. It is not the state I’ve loved and lived in all my life. We’ve changed from being “where the weak grow strong, and the strong grow great” to a state where we select the ones we choose to hate. We are casualties of the culture war, both here and […]

COMMENTARY
Donald and Melania Trump in front of the White House Christmas Tree

Bookman: Unholy night – A Trump White House Christmas coup caper

BY: - November 16, 2023

It was a Christmas party at the Trump White House, and despite the festive decorations, the trees and the wreaths and the red-and-green bunting, the mood must have been grim. A few days earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court had firmly rejected a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas seeking the overthrow of election results […]

Democracy, casting a ballot

State, local elections offer good news for democracy

BY: - November 11, 2023

The big news out of Tuesday’s elections was wins for Democrats and for reproductive rights in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. But small “d” democracy also had a good night: Virginians elected pro-voting majorities in both chambers, stymieing efforts to pass restrictive new voting laws. Ohioans turned out in large numbers to pass two popular […]

thousands of American flags with the U.S. Capitol Building in the background

One year out: how a free and fair 2024 presidential election could be under threat

BY: - November 6, 2023

The last time America elected a president, it led to a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol and a failed coup that gravely damaged the political system and marred the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in U.S. history. A year from now, the nation’s voters will decide another presidential contest — likely […]

Sidney Powell addresses a crowd

‘Kraken’ Trump lawyer Sidney Powell flipped her plea to guilty in 2020 election RICO case

BY: - October 19, 2023

Texas attorney and North Carolina native Sidney Powell pleaded guilty to election interference charges in Fulton County Superior Court on Thursday, one day before jury selection was scheduled to begin for her trial. As part of the plea deal, Powell was sentenced to six years of probation for conspiring to interfere with the performance of […]

COMMENTARY
Donald Trump, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Rep. Keith Kidwell, Senate President Phil Berger, and House Speaker Time Moore.

A toxic combination of the shameless, delusional and opportunistic threatens our democracy

BY: - October 10, 2023

Donald Trump knows he did not win the 2020 presidential election. The man has long displayed a malignant and all-consuming narcissism, but he’s no dummy. Uttering statements and making claims that sound at least plausible to some and that he wishes in his heart were true (but that he knows to be false) has always […]

Election workers process ballots

States that send a mail ballot to every voter really do increase turnout, scholars find

BY: - October 7, 2023

Lately, a rough consensus has emerged among people who study the impact of voting policies: Though they often spark fierce partisan fighting, most changes to voting laws do little to affect overall turnout, much less election results. But one fast-growing reform appears to stand out as an exception. When every registered voter gets sent a […]

a demonstrator holds a sign that reads #FAIRMAPS

Racial gerrymandering returns to U.S. Supreme Court. This time it’s South Carolina’s fight.

BY: - October 6, 2023

Civil rights groups will be closely watching the U.S. Supreme Court next Wednesday when the justices hear a challenge to South Carolina’s congressional redistricting map. In Alexander v. SC State Conference of the NAACP, the plaintiffs contend South Carolina’s legislature adopted a racially gerrymandered congressional map last year, moving hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians […]

COMMENTARY
Eric Willoughby

North Carolinians plead for fair elections. State lawmakers will ignore them.

BY: - October 3, 2023

“Stop twisting our words.” That’s one of the messages that several North Carolinians delivered to Republican legislators at a trio of hastily called public hearings last week, as the General Assembly prepared yet again to adopt new maps for North Carolina’s legislative and congressional districts. That such a message was even necessary is an outrage, […]

Five standout speeches from North Carolina’s final public hearing on redistricting

BY: - September 28, 2023

It might be easy to think the average person doesn’t know or doesn’t really care what legislative district they live in. But North Carolinians both young and old proved that was not the case Wednesday as they patiently waited their turn to speak up for democracy and reject efforts to further gerrymander the state’s voting […]