Post submitted by former HRC Communications Campaign Director Brandon Lorenz
Updated October 14:
BREAKING - A court ordered North Carolina to extend voter registration deadline until October 19 in 36 counties affected by Hurricane Matthew. Register to vote now at hrc.org/Vote. If voters miss the deadline, they can register and vote early in person at their one-stop early voting site. Check out hrc.im/ncvote for early voting dates and times.
Today, HRC President Chad Griffin and Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro called on North Carolina Pat McCrory to extend the state's voter registration deadline to give all North Carolinians impacted by Hurricane Matthew the opportunity to vote in the 2016 elections. Yesterday, the Board of Elections announced the deadline would remain tomorrow, Oct. 14.
"This terrible storm has wreaked havoc on the people of North Carolina, costing lives, homes and immeasurable damage. The last thing they should have to worry about is their right to vote,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “Governor McCrory should work to ensure that tomorrow's voter registration deadline is extended. Nobody should be denied the right to vote because of a natural disaster. There are more than 255,000 LGBTQ voters whose rights are on the line in North Carolina -- and every one of them deserves to have their voice heard."
“This election is critical and everyone should have the opportunity to vote,” said Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro. “What has happened in eastern North Carolina as a result of this historic storm is tragic. We need to ensure that people in every part of the state are able to vote after the clean up of hurricane Matthew is done."
North Carolina is home to some 4.5 million voters, including some 255,000 LGBTQ voters. In 2012 the election in North Carolina was decided by just 2 percentage points -- less than 100,000 votes. These voters have more at stake in this year’s election than ever before, with Donald Trump and Mike Pence campaigning on an extreme anti-LGBTQ agenda, and Governor McCrory up for re-election as he continues to defend his anti-LGBTQ HB2 law.
Last night, the Charlotte Observer posted a months-long investigation into how Governor McCrory’s hateful HB2 law has not only revoked LGBTQ protections in the state and mandated discrimination against transgender people in publicly-owned facilities, but has also led to instances of discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ community. The piece includes detailed stories from 50 counties across North Carolina. Since McCrory signed HB2 into law in March, there has been a massive backlash among voters and economic fallout. A 43 percent plurality of voters oppose HB2 and an even greater number -- 70 percent -- say it has damaged the state’s economy and should be repealed. More than 200 business leaders have called for the law’s repeal, and sports leagues including the NBA, NCAA, ACC and CIAA have removed or postponed events because the law threatens their employees, players and fans.
The Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina encourage donations to the American Red Cross to support Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts. To donate, visit: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation