Society

Study: North Carolina No Longer A Democracy

| by Ray Brown

North Carolina is no longer democratic and its election system is now on par with authoritarian countries, according to the Election Integrity Project's recent study.

“North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone,” Andrew Reynolds, one of the study's authors and a Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote in a Charlotte News & Observer op-ed.

He continued: “If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table – a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.”

Reynolds wrote that some of the reasons for North Carolina's deteriorated democracy is that the majority party, currently the Republicans, have 100 percent veto power over the minority party, currently the Democrats, even if the minority party has only a tad fewer votes.

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“This is above and beyond the way in which state legislators are detached from democratic accountability as a result of the rigged district boundaries,” Reynolds explained.

Reynolds also pointed to North Carolina's anti-transgender bathroom laws and voter suppression of black and Latino voters as examples of limiting citizens' rights “on the basis of their born identities.”

Patsy Keever, chairwoman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, agrees that North Carolina's democratic system is in trouble.

“Since 2010, the NC GOP has systematically engaged in a dangerous partisan political agenda, making it harder for people to vote, changing the nature of the State Board of Elections and stripping an incoming Democratic governor of power,” Keever told The Huffington Post. “That’s not what democracy looks like ― and North Carolinians deserve better.”

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Sources: The Huffington Post, Charlotte News & Observer / Photo credit: Matt Robinson via Raleigh Skyline

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