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RALEIGH, NC — Nearly seven years ago, then Speaker of the North Carolina House Thom Tillis led the charge to pass one of the country’s most restrictive voting bills, a law that was ultimately struck down by the courts for its unconstitutional efforts to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”
Among other things, the bill cut early voting, ended same-day registration, and imposed a photo ID requirement that so effectively silenced the voices and votes of African Americans across North Carolina that a federal court judge wrote that “neither this legislature – nor…any other legislature in the country – has ever done so much, so fast to restrict [voting] access.”
Even as the court made clear the intent of the law, “Tillis led a GOP propaganda campaign to defend the legitimacy of the discriminatory law,” claiming voter fraud that he admitted was “not the primary reason” for the restrictive law.
In a recent “Carolina Conversations” town hall in Henderson County, an attendee expressed her frustration with Mitch McConnell’s refusal to restore the voting rights protections that have been stripped away by the Supreme Court. Cal Cunningham expressed his support for restoring key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, pointing to Thom Tillis’ long legacy of voter suppression, and shared his commitment to the issue, especially as the nation celebrates the life and legacy of Congressman John Lewis: “I’m going to be a warrior in favor of voting rights because I believe that those votes in the voting booth are who we should be working for, not the corporate special interest groups. If people have a free and fair opportunity to participate in our elections, this is the path to having legitimacy in our government, and our government will be more responsive to our people if the votes matter.”
Watch a clip from the town hall here.
Last fall, Cal released a plan to fight corruption in Washington, including extending early voting, and making it easier to register to vote by enacting reforms like automatic voter registration and making Election Day a federal holiday. He will also oppose efforts that restrict the right to vote, like unnecessarily purging voters from the rolls.
“From Raleigh to Washington, Thom Tillis has a long record of suppressing the voices and votes of North Carolinians,” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cal Cunningham’s campaign. “In the Senate, Cal will fight for progress, to stamp out the corruption that has run rampant in Washington, restore our democracy, and reform our political system so it works for everyone.”