Wednesday, November 30, 2016

North Carolina’s Sore Loser - The New York Times

North Carolina’s Sore Loser - The New York Times:

"As early voting exit polls in North Carolina trickled in just before Election Day, state Republican Party officials could hardly contain their glee. They issued a statement hailing early results that suggested “the once dynamic Obama Coalition” was “crumbling and tired.” The statement boasted that the percentage of African-Americans voting early had dropped by 8.5 percent below 2012 levels, while white early voting was up by 22.5 percent.

They were optimistic that recent efforts by Republicans to systemically suppress minority voting in a state with a long history of racial discrimination and disenfranchisement of African-Americans appeared to be paying off. Yet, while Donald Trump won North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, lost his re-election race by a few thousand votes to Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat.

 Mr. McCrory, a governor who brought disgrace and financial loss to his state by championing a bill to discriminate against gay and transgender people, demanded a recount and began scouring voting rolls for evidence of fraud. It was a hard-fought, acrimonious election, decided by a slim margin, but as provisional and absentee ballots were added to the tally in recent days, Mr. Cooper’s lead surpassed the 10,000 threshold that bars Mr. McCrory from requesting a taxpayer-funded recount.

Mr. McCrory has refused to concede, and despite having no path to victory, he has been engaged in an all-out assault on the integrity of the election system. His fight appears likely to serve as rationale for a renewed effort in the legislature to make North Carolina’s voting laws and regulations even more onerous.

The McCrory campaign has alleged that his defeat resulted from “massive voter fraud,” an irresponsible claim for which there is no evidence. It challenged the eligibility of 43 voters, contending they were felons.  A review of public records by Democracy North Carolina, a voting rights group, established that nearly half of those voters were not, in fact, ineligible.

“It’s scandalous that they would malign innocent people to poison the larger public’s trust in the election system,” Bob Hall, the executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said in an interview. It’s dishonorable for Mr. McCrory to promote voting fraud myths and add fuel to voter suppression efforts as he’s going out the door.



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A version of this editorial appears in print on December 1, 2016, on page A30 of the New York edition with the headline: North Carolina’s Sore Loser. Today's Paper|Subscribe"



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