State Politics

Moral Monday rally pushes for voting protections

Crowd gathers for Moral Monday rally in Raleigh.
Crowd gathers for Moral Monday rally in Raleigh.

Several hundred people gathered on the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh on Monday evening rallying for voting rights and accusing Gov. Pat McCrory of trying to thwart the results of a general election that appears to be a victory for Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Under the banner of the Moral Monday series of mass protests that have dogged the state legislature and McCrory, the rally picked up on a range of issues from raising the minimum wage to health care for the poor. It was organized by the state chapter of the NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement coalition.

But the focus was on McCrory, who has not conceded in the close contest that has given Cooper a margin of about 9,700 votes. McCrory and other Republican officials have alleged potential voting irregularities across the state. They have homed in on Durham County, where the count of 94,000 votes was delayed on election night because of a computer malfunction, and Bladen County, where it appears volunteers helped people fill out ballots without disclosing they had done that.

McCrory has said he will not call for a statewide recount if a hand count of ballots in Durham is conducted.

“If you try to steal this election, we will have mass civil disobedience,” Rev. William Barber, head of the state NAACP, told the enthusiastic crowd, referring to McCrory.

Barber also gave notice to the General Assembly that the coalition will be watching its actions next year, and repeated the coalition’s call for a range of social justice issues.

Barber said the NAACP on Tuesday would file a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed in federal court filed last week seeking to scrutinize same-day registration voters. A hearing is scheduled on that suit on Friday.

“The ways of the Old South are changing here,” Barber said. “Governor, you might as well change with it.”

Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the NC GOP, responded by email: that Barber is a “partisan demigod.”

“Now according to Rev. Barber, we are attempting to steal the election because we have allowed the vote counting to go forward under the law.”

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO