As voter ID legislation continues to be rammed through state legislatures across the country, conservatives are celebrating passage of these bills, intended to suppress turnout among traditionally progressive constituencies, as a victory. However, no one is actually winning – not minority, low-income, and other historically disenfranchised voters who will be disproportionately affected by the new laws, and certainly not already-squeezed state budgets forced to find millions of dollars to make these bills a reality
Despite the clear need for states to support community efforts to create jobs by investing in critical infrastructure, right-wing legislation in North CarolinaandSouth Carolinaseems to want to take away the people’s rights to build broadband in their communities. The bills – HB3508/SB483 in South Carolina andHB129/SB87 in North Carolina – place onerous requirements for community-based broadband networks, threatening their existence and economic growth. As our states continue to deal with the fallout of the Great Recession, broadband build-out is the critical infrastructure investment needed to put Americans back to work and rebuild prosperity.
The Progressive Pulse is a blog about the issues, debates, and people that affect North Carolina public policy. As with the organization that sponsors it, NC Policy Watch, its ultimate objective is to improve the quality of life in the state, in this case by promoting the development of an informed, energetic and progressive online community.
This year’s midterm elections have the potential to change more than just the political landscape – as North Carolina gears up to become the first state to use instant runoff voting (IRV) in a statewide election, Nov. 2 could also mark a turning point in how states conduct their elections.