Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Misleading Robocalls Target African Americans in North Carolina

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on April 30, 2008

Source: Huffington Post

I’m posting this in the hopes that residents of North Carolina, or people who know citizens in N.C., will see it. Since the federal government remains willfully ignorant about these incidents of “soft voter intimidation,” it’s up to citizens to look out for each other.

These updates are from Huffington Post. The first updates deals with the voter fraud, the rest are poll updates.

APRIL 29: State election officials are looking for the source of robocalls targeting African-American household with false voter information:

In at least one version of the call, a man says that voter registration packets must be returned before a person can vote. The State Board of Elections released a transcript of the call.

“Hello, this is Lamont Williams. In the next few days, you will receive a voter registration packet in the mail. All you need to do is sign it, date it and return your application. Then you will be able to vote and make your voice heard. Please return the voter registration form when it arrives. Thank you.”

APRIL 28: The AP is reporting that Clinton will land a big endorsement today from North Carolina Governor Mike Easeley:

Easley would be just the second superdelegate from North Carolina to endorse Clinton. Six of the state’s 17 superdelegates have endorsed Obama.

A former state attorney general, Easley has focused largely on education programs during his eight-year tenure. He’s called on both of the presidential candidates to take more about the issue.

APRIL 28: North Carolina is experiencing a huge surge in early voting:

More than 100,000 ballots have been cast so far in North Carolina’s primary.

About 99,000 ballots had been cast at one-stop voting sites in the first week of early voting, according to the State Board of Elections. An additional 10,000 by-mail absentee ballots had been returned as of Friday morning.

APRIL 25: Despite Obama’s large lead in North Carolina primary, Clinton is not ceding the state:

Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe visited North Carolina twice last week to open offices. “We’re spending everywhere … and we’re going to move ahead in the popular vote,” Mr. McAuliffe said of the remaining nine contests.

Ace Smith, Clinton campaign director for North Carolina, said the campaign would be happy if it could narrow the gap to single digits. “There’s no question that this is an uphill battle; winning here would be the upset of the century,” said Mr. Smith, who headed Sen. Clinton’s operations in Texas and California.

APRIL 21: The North Carolina debate has been canceled, according the local Democratic party:

We regret to inform you that the proposed Democratic Presidential Debate scheduled for April 27 has been canceled due to time constraints and logistical issues associated with such a large, national event.

You have shown tremendous passion and interest in being a part of history as Democrats are poised this year to elect the first female or African-American President. However, there were also growing concerns about what another debate would do to party unity.

APRIL 9: Voter registration has spiked this year, particularly among blacks in North Carolina:

There has also been a boom in voter registrations overall across age, race, gender and party affiliation, according to the North Carolina state board of elections. And, even though the traditional registration period closes Friday, the numbers may continue to climb if voters take advantage of North Carolina’s new same-day registration law.

More than 45,000 blacks signed up to vote in the first three months of 2008, compared with just over 11,000 in the first three months of 2004. White voter registration more than doubled with 106,000 new registrations between Jan. 1 and March 31, compared with 47,000 four years ago.

APRIL 3: Hillary Clinton has accepted a CBS invitation to debate Barack Obama on April 27th:

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have both signed off on a Democratic debate in North Carolina. Now comes the debate over when to have it.

Obama had previously agreed to debate his rival on April 19 in North Carolina. On Thursday, the Clinton campaign said she has agreed to a debate April 27, sponsored by CBS. North Carolina holds its primary on May 6.

APRIL 3: “The end could be near,” USA Today reports in an article headlined “Why the Democratic race could end in North Carolina”:

Obama starts with a double-digit lead in polls here, a state where 2,400 free tickets to his rally at the War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro last week were gone within three hours of the announcement he would appear. But Clinton has appeal in the Tar Heel State, too, and is competing hard. The day after Obama’s rally, she drew 1,000 supporters to the gym at Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville for a town hall meeting.

“I really believe May 6 has the potential to be everything,” says Joe Trippi, a strategist for the presidential bids of former North Carolina senator John Edwards this year and Howard Dean in 2004. “Every day you see increased pressure on Hillary Clinton about why she’s staying in, and if she could win in North Carolina it would shut down that kind of talk and open up the possibility she could get there” to the nomination.

“But if he wins in North Carolina,” Trippi says of Obama, “I think you’re going to see things close up very quickly. You’ll see a lot of superdelegates line up behind him.”

APRIL 3: The local News & Observer is reporting that the candidates seem to share the same vision, with massive organization ramping up in the state:

In recent days, the campaigns began assembling ground operations that instantaneously dwarfed the efforts of candidates for governor, the U.S. Senate and dozens of other North Carolina offices.

Obama has opened 15 campaign offices in the state, a number expected to grow. The Clinton campaign dedicated its headquarters near the Glenwood South section of Raleigh on Wednesday with about a dozen more offices to come.

APRIL 3: Hotline has run the numbers to identify a wild card that is difficult to poll: the net switch of Republicans who might be voting in the Democratic primary:

But there’s also a lot of movement within the ranks of registered voters. Between January and March of this year, more than 30,000 currently registered voters changed their party identification. More than 12,000 of those, about 40%, are previously Republican voters who have moved OUT of the party to register either as Democrats or as unaffiliated voters able to participate in either primary on May 6th. Subtract from that the number of Dems and unaffiliated voters who moved into the GOP, and there’s still a net LOSS of about 6,700 Republican voters in three months. In contrast, the Democratic party nabbed a net of about 4,000 voters – previously Republican or unaffiliated – who moved into the D column. And the unaffiliated group, which gained almost 50,000 new voters in the last three months, added an additional 2,700 net from the shuffle.

Why am I telling you all this? Unaffiliateds are the big bold wildcard in the Carolina election – they’re difficult to poll and even harder to target, and their motivations are all over the map. From Republicans hoping to throw a monkey wrench in the Democratic primary at Rush Limbaugh’s urging, to disenchanted partisans seeking a unity candidate, to last-minute undecideds, these are the voters who could surprise us all.

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