The Morning Roundup: DOJ Takes Interest in NAACP Suit, Early Voting Rocks, and Other Things Happening Around the Triangle | News

The Morning Roundup: DOJ Takes Interest in NAACP Suit, Early Voting Rocks, and Other Things Happening Around the Triangle

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Good morning, y'all. Happy Thursday! Here are some of today's finest headlines:

1. The U.S. Department of Justice has taken an interest in a NAACP lawsuit filed in the state on Monday. The NAACP filed the suit alleging  voters in Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland county election boards were removed from voter rolls prior to the election, thus violating federal law.

Frome the News & Observer:

In their lawsuit filed Monday, the NAACP and voters from Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland counties contend that local elections boards were violating federal law that prohibits voter roll purges within 95 days before an election.

[...]

Challenges in Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland counties were done with the help of the Voter Integrity Project, a conservative-leaning organization that contends voter fraud is a problem, though very few cases have been prosecuted or proven either nationally or locally. Some of the challenges were based on the fact that campaign mailings sent to voters at a particular address were returned unopened.


Now the DOJ has issued a statement of interest in the case: “As described, the purge program at issue here rested on a mass mailing and the silence of voters largely unaware of the potential injury to their voting rights. A perfunctory administrative proceeding to consider evidence produced by a mass mailing does not turn an otherwise prohibited systematic process into an ‘individualized’ removal.”

2. State Board of Education figures out that not only are teachers being paid not-so-stellar salaries, but so are principals. After analyzing principal and assistant principal pay in the state, the board chairman Bill Cobey said the board needs to "encourage and prod" General Assembly to make a change.

More on this from WRAL:

North Carolina ranks 50th in the nation, including Washington, D.C., for principal pay. Under the state's pay structure, some teachers are paid more than assistant principals.

"I think the General Assembly’s going to be very serious about correcting this," Cobey said. "We should be concerned here, because leadership in school is so important."

State school board member Becky Taylor called the salaries "startling" and "astounding" and said "it really brought out how severe it has been" for public school leaders. 

"How in the world do we even have assistant principals in our state?" she said.

3. Early voting in Durham County is AMAZING with a total of 93,610 people casting ballots through Wednesday.

According to the Durham County Board of Elections, there were 229,194 registered voters on October 27. That means nearly 41 percent of registered voters have voted in Durham County so far. AND we're on track to break (or at least match) the 2008 and 2012 early vote totals. In 2008 there were 97,697 early votes cast. In 2012 there was 102,229.

But, something interesting has been floating around about early vote numbers. Specifically this tweet:
Duke University students, when the early voting sites were being determined, were not fans of the Devil's Den location. Moneta, vice president for student affairs at Duke, in the email, says 1,200 students had early voted as of Wednesday afternoon. However, according to the county Board of Election's site, there were over 4,070 ballots cast at Duke University through November 1. Now, there are more than just students at Duke—plenty of people work there. But it just doesn't seem to make sense. The INDY is reaching out to Duke to figure out where Moneta got his numbers and to authenticate the email. We'll let you know when we hear back.

Either way, the numbers just don't make sense. 

4. The NCGOP reopened its headquarters in Hillsborough after it was firebombed, vandalized. Also, the reward for information into the firebombing was increased.

From the N&O:

The N.C. GOP also announced Wednesday morning that it would match a $5,000 reward Governor Pat McCrory offered for information leading to the arrest of the firebombing suspect. The total reward is now $10,000.

Volunteers at the headquarters said despite the temporary setback, they were still able to register people to vote.

Evelyn Poole-Kober, vice chair of the Orange County Republican Party, said the support from the community motivated many people in the party.

“They may have destroyed our building, but they didn’t destroy our spirit and destroy our intent to win the election,” she said.

That's all for now.

Oh, and only five days until Election Day. It's the homestretch, folks.

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