I am writing to bring attention to the North Carolina Republican Party’s attempt to undermine the votes of North Carolinians, including members of our Duke community. On Nov. 8, North Carolinians decided we’d had enough of Governor Pat McCrory’s attacks on black, undocumented, LGBTQ and low-income people, and we voted against his re-election and in favor of Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate. We also voted against Robert H. Edmunds, a state supreme court justice who upheld a racially discriminatory gerrymandering bill. We voted instead for Mike Morgan, a Duke University Alum.
However, the N.C. GOP is now contesting these races. After filing protests in 52 counties, including Durham, petitioning county boards of elections to recount their votes on the basis of spurious claims of voter fraud, the GOP is now petitioning the state board of elections to commandeer the electoral process and recount the votes themselves. These are unnecessary and illegitimate claims aimed at perpetuating the GOP's narrative of voter fraud that they have used to justify aggressive voter suppression laws. These laws were struck down this year, and a recount has a slim chance of changing the outcome of these races. However, a Republican general assembly can use this narrative of voter fraud to launch another attack on voting rights in the future. The GOP could also attempt to steal the governorship through a little-known North Carolina law that allows the general assembly to appoint the governor if the election is too contested, amounting to a political coup in the state of North Carolina.
However, a group of activists in Durham are exposing the GOP plots to undermine the democratic process in our state. We are calling on all North Carolinians to sign our petition at bit.ly/stopcarolinacoup-petition and to like our Facebook page, “Stop the Carolina Coup.” Together, we must not only defend the integrity of our electoral process, but also continue to hold decision-makers responsible for the harm they enact on our communities.
- Mina Ezikpe, Trinity '17
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