Reclaiming our Votes, Reclaiming our Power

Immediately after allegations of voting fraud began at the end of the 2018 midterm election, the North Carolina Black Alliance assembled a taskforce of organizations including the North Carolina NAACP, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Democracy North Carolina, and Progress NC to develop a plan of action to support of over 3,000 absentee voters, many of whom were black residents of Bladen and Robeson County. Our efforts amplified the impact of the actions of McCrae Dowless, a consultant to the Mark Harris campaign. Dowless engaged in the largest voter theft on record by targeting absentee voters and developing a 3-phase scheme to request, steal, and illegally submit their ballots to benefit the Harris Campaign.

On February 21, after the NC Board of Elections unanimously decided to call for a new race in the 9th district, the North Carolina Black Alliance, in the historic First Baptist Church of Lumberton, hosted the second part of a Town Hall series entitled “Silent Votes, Not Silenced Voices.” The Town Hall series is designed to inform and provide assistance to voters impacted by the ballot theft, as well as the devastation of Hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

We celebrate the residents of Robeson and Bladen counties for sharing their stories, showing up to demonstrations and hearings, and for beginning to build a plan for a potentially historic 4 elections in 2019 where Voter ID laws will be a top issue of concern. Without the proactivity of ours and other like-minded organizations, these crimes would have gone largely unchecked and without reprimand.

The Voter ID constitutional amendment has unearthed not just the manipulation of a process and the precious right we have fought for, but a real lack of knowledge among voters. This has proven how corrupt politics can be and more importantly how, like an abscess, it infects counties outside of congressional district nine.