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February 24th, 2014
09:08 PM ET

Van Jones: North Carolina is rigging the system

Crossfire host Van Jones suggests that new voter ID laws passed in North Carolina puts people in the lower income bracket at a disadvantage. Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC) responds to Van's claims.

Van Jones to Arizona: Veto this bill
Crossfire host Van Jones pleads to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the anti-gay bill, and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory agrees.

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Filed under: Debates • Income gap • Jay Nixon • Newt Gingrich • Pat McCrory • Van Jones
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. McShannon

    I guess you could say that I have liberal leanings but I agree with the photo ID mandate in NC. However less polling places and less days to vote seem deliberate to discourage the disadvantaged, students and time conscious working people from voting and perhaps not willing to wait at crowded polling places to exercise this important right.

    March 5, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  2. Clare

    You can always tell when McCrory is lying. His lips move.

    February 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  3. Hannah

    As a citizen of NC, I feel the need to point out a few of the changes to the voting laws here in NC that have upset North Carolinians. The issue in NC is not so cut and dried as McCrory claims. They made a number of drastic changes to the voting laws here as soon as the Voting Rights Act was overturned. The reason the Voting Rights Act had singled out certain states, counties, and cities for preclearance is because they had historically been shown to be grievously discriminatory. This list had included a large number of cities and counties in NC. Preclearance meant that they previously been required to get approval for changes to their voting laws from the US Attorney General or the US District Court. No one that I know of in NC has a problem with the ID requirements per se. What we do have a problem with is the long of other changes that were packaged in under the guise of eliminating voter fraud which percentage wise is so miniscule that very few cases of it have actually been found and prosecuted. McCrory claims that the voting polls in NC are open the same amount of hours but what he doesn't say is that NC legislature has significantly cut down on the number of days for early voting, including over the weekend which is when minority voters normally vote here in NC. He also fails to mention that the state has eliminated a number of polling places, eliminated early registration for high school students, eliminated same day registration (voters now have to register 25 days in advance), forced people to vote at only one precinct which hurts college students, eliminated straight party voting, and set up more partisan observers at the polling stations with the ability to target voters and challenge their right to vote. All of those changes combined with redistricting plans paint a very discriminatory view of NC.

    February 27, 2014 at 8:43 am | Reply
    • Hannah

      Actually the only issues that people here have with the id requirements are some of the flukes. There can be issues with how the person's name is printed on their id. There was a case in TX where a judge was not allowed to vote because her driver's license had her middle name as her maiden name but TX records showed her middle name as her given middle name. Some older voters also may have problems with some of the documentation required to get an id. It's a little hard when you can't come up with your birth certificate because the hospital you were born in shut down and the local government were you were born no longer keeps these files on record. You can contact another agency to get a copy but it takes time and money. When I had to get another copy of mine before I got married, it cost $75 and took a month to get it. Some of the citizens here in NC are too poor to buy enough food, much less be able to cough up $75 for a copy of their birth certificate.

      February 27, 2014 at 8:55 am | Reply
      • Diana Gambony

        When my son needed a birth certificate, I made a long-distance call to the Dept of Vital Statistics in Chicago and they gave me instructions to write and provide his full name, date and place of birth, the maiden name of his mother and the name of his father; then enclose a personal check in the amount of $20.00. I had the birth certificate in hand 2-weeks later. This occurred about 3-years ago. Furthermore, if all people need an ID to vote, that would, I presume, included white people as well as blacks, wouldn't it? What is the problem here? Why would blacks scream discrimination when ALL people need to show an ID when voting? Also, as I understand it, in North Carolina the person could get a State ID for no money at all at any DMV. Now, why would blacks not want to do that?

        February 27, 2014 at 11:48 am |
      • mickey doyle

        the minorities are the crutch of the democratic party.minorities can`t do this they can`t do that.the dems love to use them for their own agenda.

        February 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • Valeria Truitt

        The issue with providing the correct documents to get the "free" government-issued ID:
        1. Older people, especially women and especially black women, are more likely to have been born at home and recorded–if their birth actually WAS recorded–as "baby girl Jones" or "baby boy Smith." That person would have to get both a birth certificate if there was one to be had plus at least one more document, a census record or a baptism record (if the were baptised as infants). How do I know? My mother was one of these people.
        2. Sometimes errors were made on recording the documents, including birth certificates, and sometimes those errors were significant enough to cast doubt on the identity of the individual. How do I know? My father was one of these people and he had to go to court to get his name officially "changed" to what it had always been.
        3. Either process–tracking down original documents to support a claim is time consuming and expensive. Even a relatively current birth certificate can cost upwards of $20 when you know where it's registered. Documents from 75 or more years ago may have been destroyed inadvertently by fire, flood, mold, silverfish, termites, and other things that have created havoc in the records of rural North Carolina courthouses. And not all of the people in question were actually born in North Carolina; other places have their hazards and peculiarities as well.
        4. County Boards of Election are going to have to check every record to be sure that the person it represents names that person the same way his or her official ID names him or her. That might be more of a problem with women, who may or may not change names upon marriage and may use either a middle name or a maiden name or a hyphenated name. That's time consuming, and time is money.

        March 1, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • McShannon

      Is a birth certificate the only acceptable proof of identity? I prefer a birth certificate and a Social Security number to indicate that the voter is ready to work with proper credentials or those validating ID's have the ability to assure that a SSN exists.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:49 am | Reply
  4. texasgreenacres

    Wow! vann jones You don't say?It's been going on for years and nobody ever seemed to notice.They are so crooked they would make a mountain road look straight.

    February 26, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  5. mickey doyle

    the civil war is over.the Supreme Court gave North Carolina the right to use their judgement when it comes to voting.the Supreme court also said that the Obama Tax law was legal and also said that gay marriage was legal.but not one lib or democrat was against it .why is that?

    February 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Smitty

      Good points, might add, to go see Puigs Biden or Obammy you have to show ID, it is just common sense to show ID to vote

      February 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply
      • Pat (not that one)

        The list of acceptable ID's is short, and specifically does not include student ID issued by state colleges and universities. We don't deny that most people have a driver's license or other acceptable ID; we do deny that everybody who doesn't have one could easily get one. That small percentage of the electorate should not be disenfranchised.

        February 27, 2014 at 8:13 am |
      • Valeria Truitt

        Okay, so the people who don't have IDs have all of March and all of April to get their IDs and pay for the travel and documentation required to get the paperwork straight. Then it's clear sailing, right? Wrong. Next, there's the matter of transportation to the polls, which is often a challenge even when the local boards of election haven't changed the location of the polling place to somewhere farther away, remote to public transportation, and with little room for long lines (as happened in 2013 in Buncombe County). But hey, the polls are open longer hours to allow for finding a convenient ride, right? Well, no, 1/3 of the counties have received permission to shorten the hours that the polls are open or open fewer polling places so their budgets aren't strained. And the rules now allow ANYONE to challenge a voter, not just poll watchers and not just poll officials. Not only does one have to have an approved photo ID to prove who one is, one has to be careful not to change the hair style that's pictured or be sick or in any other way look "off" from the photo as seen by anyone, or there may be a challenge which will take the attempting voter out of line and cause a lengthy controversy. And since the location of the precincts has changed, which will predictably cause some confused voters to go to the wrong precinct, there will be more leeway for provisional ballots to be cast and verified for the correct precinct, right? WRONG. Votes MUST be cast in the correct polling place. And if you have to register or change your registration before voting–because you moved or are at college now or for any reason–you have to make a separate trip to the Board of Elections at least 25 days BEFORE the election to register, with your approved photo ID in hand.

        Fact: Nobody knows whether or not most people actually have approved photo ID, because showing photo ID is a new process. In other states, many people who have been voting for years and held photo ID for years have discovered that their photo ID does not meet requirements for voting ID. Wendy Davis, running for governor in Texas, was one. We do know that employer IDs are out, student IDs are out (even if issued by the State of NC), but passports are okay.

        Fact: The people least likely to have approved photo IDs are, unsurprisingly, elderly women and college students.

        Fact: The people least likely to have spare dollars and transportation to hunt down required documentation and present in person to get photo IDs are, unsurprisingly, elderly women and college students.

        Fact: The elderly women and college students in question, as well as other identifiable groups, are disproportionately minorities.

        Fact: Only volunteers and county officials can register people to vote.

        Fact: No more straight-party voting–each office and each referendum must have a separate mark, extending the time of marking a ballot and extending the length of the lines waiting to vote.

        And that's just the start. The law has been challenged by the US Department of Justice and at least 3 other entities and will probably be struck down in 4 or 5 years when it wends its way through the courts. At which point, the Republican General Assembly and the Republican governor will collectively say "Ooops, our bad!" and retroactively alter the results of the law, right? WRONG!

        March 1, 2014 at 10:30 am |
  6. guest

    Oh ya, also, the republican 'small government' planned to take the Airport from the city of charlotte and roll it into the state government lol.

    Usually when you advocate for smaller government, you want the government to push responsibility to the most local level. But there was a black guy as mayor, and now another black guy as mayor, so now all of a sudden that responsibility needs to be sucked up to the state level.

    He is a joke, all has been.

    February 26, 2014 at 9:52 am | Reply
  7. Hector Slagg

    I think Van Jones may be a bit off his feed. Because of the Voting Rights Act or some such law several southern states were under strict rules supposedly to keep the ability to vote supposedly for minorities. Just recently the Supreme Court made a ruling that changed that rule. So these states are allowed to make some changes to voting procedures. By following a few rules, we all have to follow, anyone can register to vote, anywhere. Most people already have an I.D. A drivers license. The few that don't have other ways to be able to identify themselves. About half the people don't vote anyway so it isn't a big deal, except for the few that were behind the door when the brains were passed out.

    February 26, 2014 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • Hannah

      Actually Mr. Slagg, the issue in NC is not so cut and dried as McCrory claims. The reason the Voting Rights Act had singled out certain states, counties, and cities for preclearance is because they had historically been shown to be grievously discriminatory. Preclearance meant that they previously been required to get approval for changes to their voting laws from the US Attorney General or the US District Court. No one that I know of in NC has a problem with the ID requirements per se. What we do have a problem with is the long of other changes that were packaged in under the guise of eliminating voter fraud which percentage wise is so miniscule that very few cases of it have actually been found and prosecuted. McCrory claims that the voting polls in NC are open the same amount of hours but what he doesn't say is that NC legislature has significantly cut down on the number of days for early voting, including over the weekend which is when minority voters normally vote here in NC. He also fails to mention that the state has eliminated a number of polling places, eliminated early registration for high school students, eliminated same day registration, forced people to vote at only one precinct which hurts college students, eliminated straight party voting, and set up more partisan observers at the polling stations with the ability to target voters and challenge their right to vote. All of those changes combined with redistricting plans paint a very discriminatory view of NC.

      February 27, 2014 at 8:37 am | Reply
  8. Bubba

    Just another GOP trick to cheat another win. For a group who hates Big Government, they sure like to manipulate the law to get their way.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Reply
    • FamilyDoc2

      Exactly; remember Florida in 2000.

      March 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  9. GR Downtown

    Shelia,

    The difference is that attending a private NAACP rally is not a governmental right. It is put on by a private group and doesn't carry the weight of the state. Voting on the other hand is a fundamental right not a privilege. Getting an ID is a burden. It's a roadblock.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • george

      Explain to me how this is a burden. The ids are provided free of charge all you have to do is go down and prove who you are. In many cases you can have services take you there if you are not able to drive yourself. What this is is the liberals not wanting those that should not be voting excluded because that is their winning base. Do you have to prove who you are when using a credit card, how about signing up for a checking account, how about voting? Nope because we don't want to exclude illegals and those that vote 6 times out of prejudice or ignorance.

      February 26, 2014 at 6:37 am | Reply
      • GR Downtown

        Again, an American Express card or writing a check is not a fundamental RIGHT. Voting is a fundamental right. The burden should not be on the voter to "prove" he/she is eligible to vote. It should be on the state to prove the that the person doesn't have the right to vote. How many voter fraud cases have been brought or even alleged in the last 30 years? The only one I can think of that when Ann Coulter tried to register and vote in multiple jurisdictions. I believe that Ann Coulter should receive ONE vote.

        February 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
      • Pat (not that one)

        It sounds pretty simple. Let's break it down. To get that free ID, all you have to do is sign an affidavit that you are registered to vote and lack the required ID, and present (1) a certified copy of your birth certificate (and court documents if your name is not the same as on your birth certificate) (2) proof of your Social Security number and (3) proof of residence. If you still live near where you were born, it might be easy to get that birth certificate, but if you were born out of state, it will not be easy and it will not be free. Each state has their own requirement for how to prove who you are when you apply for a certified copy of your birth certificate, they don't just give them out any more because of the risk of identity theft. It's a catch 22 for a lot of people – you have to have ID to get ID.

        February 27, 2014 at 8:20 am |
    • Javier

      This voter argument ID is "B.S." I am from mexico, and I demand a voter ID. hell! we have it in mexico and we don't complaint. I don't trust anyone, when it comes to voting. i want to make sure they are legible to vote. Stop saying that is a burden and this and that. if anyone really cares about voting, they will get an ID and be Proud to show people they can vote. stop giving excuses!!

      February 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  10. GR Downtown

    This governor and his Republican buddies have done everything to take this state back to the days of Jim & Jill Crow. I don't think they hate black people and other groups. It's that they hate LOSING. It's all about the votes. North Carolina is changing and the white conservative voters are literally dying off. The ONLY way Republicans can win is to suppress the vote of those who would vote against them.

    On every single issue, Pat McCoury is not only on the wrong side of history, but he is on the wrong side of what is right–women's issues, the environment, unemployment and the economy. This latest disaster with Duke Energy just stinks to high heaven. When the governor says he is the only governor to bring suit against polluters–it is a half truth. YES he brought suit by taking it away from the private group who brought it. Then he settled for virtually nothing ($100K is NOTHING to Duke Energy et al). AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO CLEAN UP THE MESS. And his cabinet member who is supposed to "protect" the environment thinks that oil is a renewable resource.

    Only 36% of North Carolinians approve of his performance in office. And I am SHOCKED that it is that high.

    McCoury and his team and in particular his views are not ready for prime time. Please get off the stage.

    February 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  11. mickey doyle

    let me see the supreme court says it is legal but the dems and the libs are saying they are playing the system.this is 21st century not the 18th century.stop keeping the minorities in the 18 th century.it is getting old and stale.the minorities are not the democratic party`s crutch.

    February 25, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • GR Downtown

      Do you really think that it should be harder to vote in AMERICA than it is in IRAQ? It is. In Iraq you dip your thumb in purple ink. In America with this, you have to prove who you are. Voting is not a privilege like driving a car. IT IS A RIGHT. A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT.

      February 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  12. RWB1956

    It is not all about showing ID. It is about the other things like closing voting places early,etc.

    February 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  13. Pete

    Why is this video cut off before the rest of the debate is over? Gingrich is obviously about to address Jones' assertion but we don't get to hear it.

    As a North Carolinian involved in politics I can tell you that most of Jones' comments are devoid of fact.
    For example, the abortion law changes were aimed at cleaning up clinics that were not being inspected. It changed nothing about access rights.
    Also, reducing the number of days of early voting while maintaining the same number of hours is not any more restrictive than keeping the same number of days with reduced hours.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • GR Downtown

      As a North Carolinian, I can tell you that the laws are designed to limit access to reproductive health options not to "protect" women. These people think abortion is WRONG and that is why the laws are there. They are there to reduce the numbers of abortions. Of course, the irony is that limiting access will increase the number of self-induced and truly back alley hack jobs. That is really some way to protect women. Sorry, you can have that medical procedure here, but here's a coat hanger. Have at it.

      The voting laws are nothing but a rouse to restrict access and make it harder for people to vote. It serves as a barrier because those affected by the law are disproportionally black. Voting is a RIGHT not something like a driver's license.

      None of this agenda is for what is truly right. It is about power and elections.

      You only need to read "The Decline of North Carolina" in the NYT editorial last July to see the long list of shames of this state.

      February 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  14. Hector Slagg

    Well,
    Maybe or maybe not. The situation in the Country does not speak well for all the things the voters ignored hoping it would all wok out. All the Promises the Left made have been glaring failures. We are still living in the 1930's because of what the voters approved the last 100 years. I think it used to be that you had to own land to vote. Now giving the vote to those that have no "Skin" in the game was a huge mistake. And we have the 17 Trillion Dollar Federal debt to prove it.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • FamilyDoc2

      Every one of us has "skin in the game" because we are all part of the same country. The federal and state governments collect taxes, pass laws and decide how that money will be spent. If you don't like what is being decided, then run for office yourself or work harder to promote the candidates who share your views. The fact that the majority of the electorate doesn't agree with your views does not mean that you get to disenfranchize them in various ways. If you really don't like things the way they are, then go off and find a country that you prefer.

      February 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  15. jboh

    If you can't win on the strength of your position, make it harder for those who oppose you to vote. This is the definition of tyranny.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • Sheila

      So , what's wrong with showing an ID when you vote? Someone please give me a good reason not to do so – I bet if you wantd a pack of cigarettes and were asked for ID you would produce it. But, it isn't okay to be required to show ID when you vote! Liberals – it's a ploy to get voters who are not legal! Go, (Governor) Mayor Pat – don't bend to them!

      February 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Reply
      • InAm

        If you go on the idea that it is required to show voter ID to stop voter fraud...then your wrong. Voter fraud is very rare. Most times fraud cases are investigated and have shown no voter irregularities or criminal intent. Most of the problems, which there are very few, have to do with mail in ballots.

        February 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • Trace

        Really???? I have to show ID to perform any transaction at my bank and most important – TO BUY COFFEE with a debit/credit card....Is presenting an ID to VOTE really that much of a hardship???? BTW – I'm BLACK and think that this is the MOST STUPID issue EVER!!!!

        February 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
      • Valeria Truitt

        I have been voting in gubernatorial elections in NC since 1964. I am asked by a judge to give my name and address and then I have to sign my name to the record that I have voted. Signing someone else's name is a felony punishable by 5 years in prison. That's WITHOUT any ID requirement.

        In order to fraudulently vote under someone else's name, I'd have to come up with the name and address of a person who is not going to vote. I would have to chance that nobody at that poll knew the person OR me. I would have to sign that person's name, and commit a felonious act. I'd then have to cast the ballot while worrying that the person I pretended to be might come in or a relative might come in and, in signing in discover that that person had "signed" in and blow the whistle on me. And that's for ONE ballot.

        If I were determined to commit voter fraud, I'd pack the absentee ballot box. Nobody asks for ID for absentee ballots, and only the exterior envelope has a voter's name on it–the ballots are secret and not identified with a name. Oh, to get an official ballot, one has to apply at the Board of Elections–but with decent word processing skills, any number of duplicate ballots can be sent through a printer.

        March 1, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
    • GR Downtown

      This is EXACTLY what the people want to do in North Carolina. Erect barriers. Jump through hoops. Literacy tests and poll taxes were the same thing. Requiring ID is nothing more than a new poll tax. Voting is a right. It is not a privilege.

      February 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  16. andrea renee hall

    I wish they would have asked Gov. McCory's stand on Fracking for Natural Gas on our coasts of North Carolina. What a jerk. He will be out of office before we let that happen. His a liar when it comes to him not changing the voting laws. They were the first to make it so that you have to have an Photo ID, and he did cut days, not hours to vote. We know it, he knows it..

    February 25, 2014 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • GR Downtown

      Pat is a LIAR on so many things. Where to start? One of the first was that he would not sign into law any further restrictions on abortion. What does he do when he is elected? Yes, he SIGNED one of the most restrictive laws in the country on the subject.

      February 26, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  17. jfk

    So the communist doesn't like the bill. The means it must be good.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • VotingBLKAmerican (yes were alive)

      Yea good for HATERS like yourself. Sorry and BAD for people who live in the REAL world.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:45 am | Reply
      • Sheila

        Still waiting for someone to justify NOT showing ID when you vote! Still waiting. Even the NAACP rallying against it required ID to get in...even Michelle Obama at a rally required ID to get in....so how is it a bad idea to show it to vote – even people on welfare have to show ID...

        February 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • Trace

        Um – in the YEAR 2014 – WHO DOESN'T HAVE AN ID????????? And why it is a hardship to have to show it to VOTE but not to use a Debit/Credit Card????????

        February 28, 2014 at 5:26 pm |

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