It’s been about 10 days since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) approved the most sweeping voter-suppression law seen in the United States in a generation, and as Rachel explained on the show last night, the consequences are already affecting students, most notably at historically black colleges.
But as North Carolina Republicans’ pernicious attacks on voting rights grow in notoriety, condemnations of these efforts are becoming more common. Today, for example, former Secretary of State Colin Powell was in North Carolina, where he criticized the state’s voting restrictions as bad for the public – and the Republican Party.
“I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh
“It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,” Powell continued. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”
Responding directly to the sole talking point pushed by far-right proponents of the voter-suppression law, Powell added, “You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud. How can it be widespread and undetected?”
As a prominent national figure and a Republican eager to see his party move away from the radical fringe, Powell’s condemnation of North Carolina’s voting restrictions is noteworthy, but this morning’s remarks were especially interesting given who else was in attendance – Powell criticized Gov. McCrory’s attack on voting rights with McCrory in attendance.
Indeed, McCrory addressed the audience immediately before Powell did, and no doubt noticed the comments.
We’ll have more on this and other important developments in North Carolina a little later.