NCGA

Parsing the changes to Absentee voting by mail in NC

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It's been made easier, but it's still complex:

You can now request an absentee ballot via e-mail or fax with an electronic signature. And starting in June, you only need one witness to fill out a ballot.

"Making sure elections are safe and secure is more important than ever during this pandemic, and this funding is crucial to that effort," Cooper said in a press release Friday. The state will receive over $10 million in funding from the federal government to prepare for the effects of coronavirus on the 2020 election; $424,000 of that will be spent creating a ballot request website.

You need to e-mail or fax that request to your county board of election (as opposed to state website), and you still have to use the proper request form, and it doesn't appear that you can fill it out electronically (save document and make changes). So you'll need to print it out, fill it out, and then scan it (or fax it) as an image. That is until the above-mentioned "ballot request website" becomes operational. But I wouldn't hold your breath and wait for that this year; NC is notorious for taking a long time in developing new platforms such as this. And now to dispel the rumor of Roy Cooper signing Voter ID back into law:

Georgia's voting nightmare is the 2nd canary fatality in the election coal mine

And proof the NC GOP needs to stop fighting mail-in voting:

Problems have been building for weeks as precincts closed, poll workers quit and the primary was postponed because of the health danger posed by the coronavirus crisis. Some voters south of Atlanta waited eight hours to vote on the last day of early voting Friday.

But the election went worse than expected Tuesday, especially in metro Atlanta, when poll workers couldn’t get Georgia’s new $104 million voting system system running. The system uses touchscreens and printers to create paper ballots.

I used this new system when I voted in the NC Primary a few months ago, and it went relatively smoothly. But there were about 9 BoE folks working there that day and no lines of voters backed up. Many of those volunteers I've seen before in previous elections, but most of them were in their late 60's-70's and may not be so willing to expose themselves to COVID 19 come November. Every county BoE needs to be filling their rosters of volunteers, and not just the "maybe" people. And the new systems need to be tested, along with the new volunteers. Because this is crazy:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Keep your eyes on November:

And keep your eyes on your county commissioners, because many are poised to cut funding for boards of elections.

Beware the right-wing misinformation campaigns

Now they've discovered neighborhood chat rooms:

And in Raleigh this week, a message that was posted to neighborhood boards and texted amongst people suggested that “antifa” planned to come into wealthy areas and steal from residents.

“Antifa may be heading into the wealthy neighborhoods tonight to take what should be theirs,” one text said on June 2.

That was in Raleigh, but one that was eerily similar surfaced in Greensboro in the last week, specifically mentioning Old Irving Park as the targeted neighborhood. Mayor Vaughan has been trying to choke this thing for several days, and of course she is being blamed for helping spread the rumor:

Despite pandemic behavior changes, atmospheric carbon is still rising

And these numbers should be truly frightening to you:

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest ever recorded — 417.1 parts per million, according to an announcement yesterday by NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Even the economic crash related to the pandemic didn’t slow the uptick in CO2, a greenhouse gas and main driver of climate change. Levels didn’t decrease in part because CO2 lingers in the atmosphere for a long time. There is also natural variability in CO2 levels based on plants and soils. So to make a dent in carbon dioxide levels, NOAA said, would require a sustained 20% to 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for six to 12 months.

That debris you see on the beach in the photo all came from one house in Rodanthe, and happened about a week ago. Luckily nobody was occupying it at the time, but several others in nearly the same condition had to be evacuated. The fact the town was even allowing occupation of these homes just gives you an idea of the reckless and negligent approach to development there, but that's a discussion for another time. Governor Cooper and the NC DEQ are making an effort to combat climate change and prepare us for resilience:

Alamance County officials back-pedaling and ass-covering

When you toss responsibility into the wind, it often blows back in your face:

The chair of the Alamance County commissioners and the County Attorney took time this week to explain their roles in the controversy over the opening of Ace Speedway. “I did not say, ‘Go ahead Mr. Turner,‘” County Attorney Clyde Albright said at the commissioners’ regular meeting. “I wanted to work with them to figure out a way to avoid violating the governor’s order.”

Commissioners Chair Amy Galey and Albright said they were caught between a lack of clarity on the governor’s order and the track owners’ determination to open regardless of the potential legal problems. Commissioner Tim Sutton harshly criticized Galey for making decisions without consulting the board, and Albright for relying on court rulings upholding the right to hold church services to say Ace had the right to have more than 25 people in the crowd.

Actually Clyde, what you said was, “He cannot constitutionally limit the number of people who can peaceably assemble under the First Amendment.” The County should fire him immediately for that, but since everybody involved seems to be getting their own lawyers, they might have trouble replacing him:

Another one bites the dust: Rocky Mount votes to remove Confederate statue

Maybe they can airlift it and drop it on that "mechanized cavalry" dude's barn:

Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson tells WRAL News the city council has voted to remove a Confederate monument that has stood for years at Battle Park. The decision was made during a meeting for the city's 2020-2021 budget Tuesday between members of the council. The council voted 6-1 to remove the monument.

Roberson said the vote will be confirmed in an open meeting of the city council this Monday. He also said the plan is to remove the monument and store it somewhere. He was not sure if the vote has standing but said the Monday vote would be official.

Phallic symbol bemoaning the emasculation of a failed reb...Sorry, just thinking outloud for a minute there.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

How about some good news to start your day?

The growing tendency for industry to poach on public lands needs to be curbed, and this is a great place to start.

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