On the heels of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signing a bill to massively limit voting rights, two localities changed their polling places & university residency rules.
On Monday, McCrory signed into law a new bill that includes a strict voter ID law, ending same-day voter registration, cutting down the length of early voting and eliminated a program that encourages high school students to register to vote before they turn 18. The law, deemed the "worst voter suppression bill in the nation," specifically targets low-income, minority and college-aged voters – all of which traditionally vote democrat.
Just after McCrory signed the bill, the Republican majority in the Watauga County Board of Elections voted to eliminate the early voting site and election-day polling place at Appalachian State University, one of the largest universities in North Carolina. The board voted to combine three local precincts into one, which will force about 9,300 residents to vote in a building with only 35 parking spots.
The Republican majority in the Pasquotank County Board of Elections also changed their voting residency regulations. They ruled that students who live on college campuses have not established permanent residency, and therefore cannot run for local office. The county's Republican chairman has promised to challenge the residency of other students in Pasquotank County and across the state.
Media Resources: ThinkProgress, 8/13/2013; The News & Observer 8/14/2013; ThinkProgress 8/15/2013
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .