Restrictive Ballot Access Laws Disenfranchise Voters

North Carolina will continue its tradition of unopposed elections in 2016. Seventy-two General Assembly candidates were either “elected” at the close of filing Dec. 21 or will be elected in the March primary. So in November nearly half of North Carolina voters will no choice about who represents them in Raleigh.

While it’s true gerrymandering is a cause, there’s another more significant reason – highly restrictive ballot access laws. It’s very difficult for a party – other than the Democrats or Republicans – to get on the ballot. It’s nearly impossible for independent candidates to do so.

These high barriers to ballot access thus effectively disenfranchise nearly a third of North Carolina voters, the unaffiliated, the fastest growing voter block.

Most voters don’t realize how the establishment parties manipulate the system through gerrymandering and restrictive ballot access. To qualify for the ballot a “new” party must collect in excess of 90,000 signatures. To run for statewide office without a party label you must hurdle the same barrier. Anyone who wants to challenge an unopposed incumbent in a legislative district or local office, needs to collect anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 signatures from registered voters.

It’s not gerrymandering, voter IDs, or early voting limitations that disenfranchises NC voters. It’s our ballot access lockout.

Independence Day to do list

Here are two things to do on the Fourth of July 2015, in between eating hot dogs and drinking beer, and before you watch the fireworks: 1) Read the Declaration of Independence, and; 2)  Read this excerpt from a speech by President Calvin Coolidge (you read that right) on the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration.

“The American Revolution represented the informed and mature convictions of a great mass of independent, liberty loving, God-fearing people who knew their rights, and possessed the courage to dare to maintain them.

coolidge“It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history …. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.

The idea that the people have a right to choose their own rulers was not new in political history. It was the foundation of every popular attempt to depose an undesirable king. This right was set out with a good deal of detail by the Dutch when as early as July 26, 1581, they declared their independence of Philip of Spain. In their long struggle with the Stuarts the British people asserted the same principles, which finally culminated in the Bill of Rights deposing the last of that house and placing William and Mary on the throne. In each of these cases sovereignty through divine right was displaced by sovereignty through the consent of the people.

“Running through the same documents, though expressed in different terms, is the clear inference of inalienable rights. But we should search these charters in vain for an assertion of the doctrine of equality. This principle had not before appeared as an official political declaration of any nation. It was profoundly revolutionary. It is one of the corner stones of American institutions.

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Rightful Remedy Conference at UNC-Charlotte March 28

Rightful-RemedyThe Rightful Remedy Conference will be held March 28 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The conference is being held in association with the Tenth Amendment Center and Young Americans for Liberty.

Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the conference will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Fretwell Building, Room 100.

Nullification is any act or set of acts which renders a law null, void or just unenforceable. Thomas Jefferson called nullification the “rightful remedy” whenever the federal government oversteps is authority and all other means of redress have been exhausted.

“The federal government has massively overstepped its Constitutional boundaries and citizens across the country are organizing to learn what can be done to stop it,”said Christian Hine, conference director.

“’We the People’ are fighting back against the political class to bring about long-lasting policy change toward greater freedom, less government intrusion into our lives, and a greater adherence to our founding, Constitutional principles, particularly the 10th Amendment.”

Hines noted that states can take many actions to push back against the federal government.

“From transportation to education to homeland security, states have the opportunity to restore the federal government to its Constitutional role,” he said.

Conference speakers will discuss both the history and modern practical application of the 10th Amendment, nullification, and other ways in which government power can be decentralized and brought closer to the people.

Speakers include will include: KrisAnne Hall, a Constitutional attorney; South Carolina state Sen. Tom Davis; Publius Huldah, a retired attorney; Georgia Sheriff Chris Clinton; Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, a Cherokee County (N.C.) commissioner, and; Diane Ruffino, an attorney and teacher.

Seating is limited, so please register.

Free The Voter Freedom Act

Free Voter Freedom Act

Free the Vote NC has issued a call to action to free HB 794, the Voter Freedom Act of 2013, from the state Senate Rules Committee. They are urging voters to call Rules Committee Chair Sen. Tom Apodaca, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Phil Berger, and the local state Senator on June 10.

“If we don’t act soon, the bill will die and we’ll have to start all over again in January 2015 to reform North Carolina’s highly restrictive ballot access laws,” said Jordon Green, Free the Vote president.

In order to keep HB 794 during the last legislative session, Free the Vote agreed to have the bill converted into a study bill. That effort was successful. The bill passed the House with a overwhelming 109-5 bipartisan vote.

But once it got to the state Senate, it was sent to the rules committee where it has languished ever since.

While the original bill would have dramatically lowered our state’s high ballot access barriers, the study bill, if passed, would task the Joint Elections Oversight Committee to look into all the restrictions on ballot access which we addressed in the original bill.

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Peroutka presents lecture on Constitution roots

Former Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka will present the first lecture of his 12-part series on the U.S. Constitution, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Voice of Faith Studios, 335 Sherwee Dr, Raleigh. 

The event is being organized by the Citizens Constitutional Caucus.

Peroutka is co-founder of Institute on the Constitution, headquartered in Pasadena, Md. He is a graduate of Loyola University in Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law.

According to the institute website, “Discovering that the teaching of law in America had been perverted away from its original design, Michael determined to investigate America’s founding and the roots of our law, in English Common Law and the Bible.” This led to the founding of the institute as an educational outreach of his law firm.

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LP joins rally to stop NSA surveillance

Libertarian Party press release

The heroic revelations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden have let the world know: The National Security Agency is watching you and has undermined the fabric of the Internet. Its overreaching surveillance creates a climate of fear, chills free speech, and violates our basic human rights — your Fourth Amendment right to privacy.

But a movement is building to change all this.

stop_watching_us_logoThe Libertarian Party was among the first groups to join a growing coalition of organizations operating under the umbrella Stop Watching Us, which aims to stop the NSA’s mass surveillance of Americans.

The coalition will hold a rally in Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 2013, on the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act. Thousands of people from across the political spectrum are expected to unite in Washington, D.C., to demand: Stop watching us.

Speakers at the rally will include 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson. A march before the rally, music, and other festivities are planned for the day.

Show your determination to stop government surveillance and come to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 26. For more details about the rally, visit: https://rally.stopwatching.us/

Visit LP.org to share this with your friends!

Libertarians sponsor Nullify Now NC

Nullification is not about state’s rights or slavery, but about the fundamental principles of the American republic, said J.J. Summerell, chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. The Libertarian Party is one of the sponsors of the Nullify Now conference scheduled for the Raleigh Convention Center Oct. 19.

The Tenth Amendment Center has been hosting events around the country to educate and activate people on the topic of Nullification since September 2012. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., an historian and best-selling author of the book “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century,” will give the keynote speech the event. Continue reading »

On Constitution Day 2012, read the manual for self-government

You’ve seen U.S. Senators brandishing the little booklet, like some octogenarian Red Guards. After several years of trying, the late Sen. Richard Byrd (D-Va.) got a law passed creating a new Federal holiday and mandating a special curriculum for all public schools in the United States to mark the birthday of the document.

The law establishes Sept. 17 as U.S. Constitution Day and requires all schools receiving Federal funds and all Federal agencies to provide materials about the Constitution. Or rather, to study what the ruling political class promotes as their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

Fortunately, the law has no enforcement power, nor does it allocate any money for the project. Libertarians nevertheless point out the law itself is unconstitutional, since no where in the Constitution is Congress given the authority to mandate school curriculum.

“There’s irony in using an unconstitutional measure to promote Constitution Day,” said Roger Pilon, vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.

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Tom Woods to headline Nullify Now NC conference

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., an historian and best-selling author of the book “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century,” will give the keynote speech at the Nullify Now! Conference in Raleigh October 19 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

The Tenth Amendment Center has been hosting events around the country to educate and activate people on the topic of Nullification since September 2012. At a Nullify Now! event, you learn nullification’s constitutional basis and when it has been used in history.

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Sustain veto of forced drug testing

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina supports the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina’s call to uphold Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of H.B. 392. The General Assembly will convene Tuesday to consider overriding the veto of this bill that would require people seeking aid for their families through the state’s Work First program to submit to costly and invasive drug tests.

The governor called this “a recipe for government overreach and unnecessary government intrusion … that is not a smart way to combat drug abuse.” We, and the ACLU, agree.

“Not only does this bill violate the Fourth Amendment by mandating an ‘unreasonable search and seizure,’ it also forces people in need to pay up front for this invasion of the privacy and violation of the rights,” said Brian Irving, LPNC communications director.

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