NAACP: Tillis won because of voter law, not policies

Posted November 6, 2014

— Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis was elected to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday not because North Carolinians support his policies but because of changes to state voting laws that affected who cast ballots, the NAACP said Thursday.

Tillis defeated Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan 49 to 47 percent, or about 48,500 votes out of almost 2.9 million votes cast statewide, according to unofficial results.

Putting his own spin on the election results that saw gains for conservative candidates throughout much of the nation, state NAACP President Rev. William Barber said Tillis' "narrow victory" was a repudiation of his policies, not a validation of them.

Barber said there were widespread reports of voting problems – the State Board of Elections said the election ran rather smoothly – and the shortened early-voting period and the elimination of same-day registration affected thousands of North Carolina voters.

"The magnitude of the problem may not be far from the margin of victory (for Tillis)," he said.

The NAACP planned to send letters to Tillis and Gov. Pat McCrory later in the day, asking them for a sit-down meeting to discuss backing off "extremist policies" and becoming more inclusive in their governing.

Both Tillis and McCrory adopted conciliatory postures on Wednesday after a campaign season that was mostly negative. Tillis said he looks forward to working with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill, while McCrory said the GOP must "govern with humility."

Barber also criticized Democratic candidates for distancing themselves from President Barack Obama and policies that have carried the party in recent years, such as universal health care.

"This gives perception of running scared rather than running for something," he said. "You reinforce in the minds of voters that you are incapable of addressing the issues confronting the nation because you will not even stand up for the very things you fought for."

Still, he found positives in the election results, such as large turnouts, and said the activities of the Forward Together movement would continue.

"(The) movement does not live and die by elections," he said. "Our movement does not hinge, does not get discouraged, does not get depressed, does not fall back and does not retreat based on one election, one candidate or one party. We will continue the struggle in the courts, in the streets (and) in the legislature."

Noting the civil rights struggle took years to show results, Barber said the NAACP and other groups have a long-term vision for the "Moral Monday" protests they have staged at the General Assembly over the past two years, voter registration drives and other efforts.

"We have to stay consistent," he said. "We're in this for the long haul."


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • tracmister Nov 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Good point, but Tillis's actions are beyond despicable whereas Hagan is simply a puppet. I would rather vote for a spineless puppet who is a sheep that a ravenous wolf who is out to hurt people.

  • vfore10 Nov 10, 2014

    nice to see that the voting was finally fair after all these years

  • jakrijugi Nov 10, 2014

    People who are upset about the voter law, should know the voter law and prepare themselves if they want to vote. I'm sure they know it was coming from all the ads and calls and groups that support one party or other came to speak to them. It isn't a party law. It affects all parties and the ones who didn't follow the law shouldn't be complaining.

  • notexactly Nov 10, 2014

    Plus many states do not have same day registration and have ID laws to vote. So the cry me a river excuse is bogus. The lazy. ignorant people that don't care to vote are still not going to vote no matter what. But you can believe if they have to have an ID to get those benefit checks they would run right out a stand in line for hours to get one. WOW, how does the NAACP get away with calling their base a dummy and still get support from them? Makes you wonder don't it.

  • dcshadows Nov 10, 2014

    In Georgia, Voter ID Laws were passed in 2007... since then, including this election minority voter turn out has increased by over 40% from pre 2007... We should be ashamed of ourselves for having an increase in such an oppressive time in our nation...

  • Richard Hertz Nov 10, 2014
    user avatar

    The rev is going to have a point in 2016. The lazy and unconerned won't have an ID in 2016 because they did not vote in Nov 14. The nice people at the polling station were asking everyone if they had a photo ID. They were also saying if you DID NOT have one that they would HELP you get one. So when the 2016 elections roll around all those to lazy to get out and vote and get their photo ID there will be a cry heard around the world from barber and the naacp about the GOP holding back the black vote.

  • gotnoid Nov 10, 2014

    This article should be embarrassing to NC voters of all races. The election results are obvious.

  • notexactly Nov 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You are correct. When the story is a blame game from the left, WRAL will keep that story in the queue for days. If it is something positive about the GOP it stays up maybe a few hours. This is so true. this proves just that.

  • caronia49 Nov 10, 2014

    Barber is a disgrace to himself and the people he is suppose to represent. Tillis won because the people of NC elected him over Hagan, which was an excellent choice for NC and this Country.

  • notexactly Nov 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Um what proof do you have MANY were turned away, since this elections set a record for turnout?????? You sound just like barber, a sore loser. You should focus on why your base didn't get out and vote. Oh but they did actually since the number of dems voting was higher than the reps, that could only mean the dems that are tired of the lies from their own party voted for tillis. But I guess the barber kool aid is still good to you. Ask yourself, what did your dems do for you in the last 6 years? Nothing. more people out of work, more on welfare, and record debt all brought to you by the dems. How is it you guys just can not see the facts and blame the ones that has caused this. Bush has been gone for 6 years. When will the dems own what their policies have created? That's why you lost. No one was turned away from voting. If you didn't register in time that's your fault. so If I didn't vote on Tuesday can I vote on Wednesday? See simple