With Gov. Pat McCrory in the audience, former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at North Carolinas new voting law Thursday, saying it hurts the Republican Party, punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote.
“I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.
“It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,” Powell continued. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”
The retired general served as the keynote speaker at the event and made his remarks moments after McCrory left the stage. His comments represent the most high-profile criticism of the Republican-crafted law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, cuts early voting days and makes it harder for students to vote.
In one comment, he seemed to rebuke McCrory for suggesting that voter fraud likely exists but is hard to detect. The governor had compared it to insider trading.
“You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” Powell said. “How can it be widespread and undetected?”
Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said the new sends the wrong message to minority voters. “What it really says to the minority voters is … We really are sort-of punishing you,” he said.
A high-ranking and well-respected Republican, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, has condemned the new voter ID law recently passed in North Carolina. Although Governor McCrory asserts that there is widespread, undetected voter fraud in the state, there have been very few instances of in-person voter fraud. Powell makes some very salient points about the effects of the new law, not least of which is a message that minority votes are not important to the GOP.
On a personal note, I haven’t been around on WordPress much lately. I miss it and my blogfriends so much! My youngest just started kindergarten (boo-hoo), and I am about to start a new job (woo-hoo, I guess). Obligations leave me very little time to write, but I hope you all will remember me and continue to check in every once in a while. All of these recent changes are leaving me breathless and struggling to manage my time more wisely. I will be writing regularly again soon, I hope!
I also want to take this time to thank my readers (there are a couple), who take time to read and comment. I consider some of you as real friends and appreciate the opinions and perspectives you have given me. Sometimes the encouragement you gave me helped me through rough patches in my life. Thank you so very much. I shall return!