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12-yr-old takes on NC Governor re. voting rights | "Story of America" #102

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Published on Oct 29, 2013

http://www.StoryofAmerica.org | 12-year-old Madison Kimrey of Burlington founded NC Youth Rocks after the North Carolina legislature passed voting restriction laws targeting young people, women, minorities, and the poor.

The law appears to be designed to create long lines at the polls — especially in more populous, urban areas — by cutting early voting and making the voting process more time consuming (this was the formula that created 8-hour waits in Florida for the 2012 election, as a FL election official testified to the House Elections Committee in March 2013). Also, the law requires voters to produce a photo ID, but student IDs are not accepted, even if issued by a state university.

The same law does away with disclosure requirements for political advertising and increases the limit on campaign contributions. Also, the law does away with same-day registration during early voting, which had been popular with African Americans and other groups who had previously not engaged in the democratic process at the same level as white voters had. The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act.

In this speech Kimrey takes exception to the end of a program by which 16 and 17-year-olds pre-registered to vote when getting their drivers license or through school programs. Madison's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/NCYouthRock

As NC state Sen. Josh Stein (D) argues in our upcoming feature-length film, "People come into contact with the government when they get their drivers license. No one has been accused of voting before they are 18, so I'd like to know why we're not encouraging young people to engage in the democratic process."

NC Republicans have soured on pre-registration in recent years because polling data shows that young people tend to vote for Democrats. If young people in North Carolina get their drivers license before the age of 18, as many do, they will have to make an additional contact with the government to register to vote. This is seen as advantageous to Republicans, as a percentage of young people will fail to do so and not be eligible to vote until they do.

Meanwhile, a strict government ID requirement in order to vote — part of the same omnibus voting restriction law passed in July of 2013 — will impact young people who do not wish to get their drivers license, or, simply cannot afford a car. Student ID's are not accepted under this law. So young people in this category will also need to apply to the government for a photo ID in order to vote.

video by Eric Byler & Annabel Park. Look for their upcoming feature film: "Story of America: Battleground North Carolina"
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From Burlington's local newspaper:

Hundreds of people packed downtown Burlington's amphitheater Monday night, spilling out into the Historic Depot and along the Front Street sidewalk to get an earful of Alamance County's first Moral Monday rally.

Local and state officials charged an amped-up, sign-waving crowd to continue registering their discontent with the current North Carolina leadership, regarding the state's failure to accept Medicaid expansion money, the rejection of federal unemployment insurance funds, cuts to teachers and educators, and legislation NAACP leaders say suppresses voting rights.

Barrett Brown, education chair for the Alamance County branch of the NAACP, asked the crowd which members were veterans. Several raised their hands. He asked who were teachers. Half of the crowd stood. He asked who'd participated in Moral Monday events across the state. The crowd erupted.

"People of Alamance County are paying attention," Brown said.

Madison Kimrey, Burlington resident and founder of NC Youth Rocks, said Gov. Pat McCrory's voting rights laws sought to reduce voting participation in the younger generation and dismissed the youth's voices.

Ellie Kinnaird, retired state senator from Orange County and founder of the NC Voter ID Project, asked everyone in attendance to make sure their neighbors were registered to vote, and knew which precinct in which to vote come November.

Carolyn Smith, state director of Working America, said 1,200 people in Alamance County are unemployed and 2,600 will lose their emergency unemployment benefits by the end of the year due to the state's rejection of federal unemployment insurance funds.

Rodney Ellis, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, said, "We are witnessing a mass exodus of quality educators," due to cuts to education and the phasing out of tenure.

"Public school educators aren't failing North Carolina's children," Ellis said. "Politicians are."

Matthew Antonio Bosch, director of Elon University's Gender & LGBTQIA Center, encouraged those at the rally to seek out people who are different from themselves and become their ally, because "allies matter."

MORE: http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/top-...

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