North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory made headlines a few weeks ago when he planned to use more than $200,000 in taxpayer money to remodel bathrooms in the governor’s mansion, all the while cutting teacher salaries throughout the state. McCrory also backs North Carolina’s new restrictive voter ID laws that make it more difficult for minority voters to cast ballots.
Part of the state’s new hard line against voters is the elimination of a provision that makes it easier for young people to vote by allowing them to register as early as age 16. That way, once they turn 18 and are eligible to vote, they can simply do so with the registration process behind them.
When 12-year-old Madison Kimrey of Burlington, N.C., asked to meet with McCrory to have a chat about the new rule that makes it harder for young people to vote, she collected nearly 12,000 signatures on a petition asking the governor to spend some time with her.
To make the proposal more attractive, the preteen activist set up a table outside the state capitol building, with cookies and a chocolate cake baked by her grandmother. She offered to meet McCrory to “enjoy a snack together.”
The governor never showed up. In fact, he went on the radio and called the whole idea “ridiculous” and deemed Madison “a prop for the liberal media.”
This was after McCrory himself admitted that he “hadn’t read” the part of the bill that gets rid of teenage pre-registration.
But Kimrey (pictured) got the last word, at least for now. North Carolinians have been holding “Moral Monday” protests against the state’s increasingly conservative policies under McCrory. At a rally in Kimrey’s hometown this Monday, the 12-year-old delivered a speech that immediately went viral, in which she took McCrory and the state’s Republicans to task over the new voting law.
She also called upon North Carolina’s young people to get more active in politics.
“I am not a prop,” Kimrey declared. “I am part of the new generation of suffragettes and I will not stand silent while laws are passed to reduce the amount of voter turnout by young people in my home state.”
Check out her remarkably articulate and poised speech in the video below.