September 1st marked the end of an innovative North Carolina program to encourage 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote. Its demise was part of the draconian elections overhaul passed by the legislature and signed by the governor last month that makes it harder for North Carolinians to register and vote.
What’s more, the new law opens the door to more corporate money into the elections system, limits disclosures of contributions, prevents people from casting a provisional ballot when they go to the wrong precinct and the list goes on.
But the end of this program can be the beginning of even greater efforts to get young people involved in democracy. Many of them are upset about ballot boxes being removed from their college campus and challenges to their residency. I’ve talked to numerous students and young professionals and they are ready to engage their peers.
There are committed organizations that are working hard to register young people despite these new rules. High school and college groups are taking action. Let’s help them with our time, encouragement, and financial support.
The ability to change our state’s course and move North Carolina forward will depend on laying the groundwork right now.
In order to stay up to date on these opportunities and others, follow me on Twitter @RoyCooperNC and like my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/roycoopernc
Thanks for all of your efforts.
Roy Cooper is the Attorney General of North Carolina.