Many Democrats talk about fighting back against voter suppression, but North Carolina state senator Ellie Kinnaird resigned from office today in order to work on a grassroots project to help people obtain voter IDs.
In a statement annoucing her resignation, Sen. Kinnaird said:
What led me to this decision are the actions taken by the Republican majority in the legislature that has been a shocking reversal of the many progressive measures that I and many others have worked so hard to enact: measures that over the years had made North Carolina a model of moderate-to-progressive, pro-business but also pro-people public policy in the South. From the Republicans’ denial of health care security for our people to their failure to promote a vibrant work force through support for our education systems at all levels and from their tax cuts for the wealthy and their tax increases for the poor and middle class to their efforts to deny people their right to vote, they have been pursuing a divisive and, I think, immoral agenda. The needless pain and suffering the Republicans have brought upon us that I have written about add up to a huge setback for North Carolinians from all walks of life. My own personal sadness is the dismantling of my environmental, social justice and death penalty efforts.
I am heartened, however, by the many grassroots efforts to fight for the rights, the health and safety and the opportunities our people need and deserve from the Moral Monday movement to the many non-governmental organizations that advocate for the people of our state, not the special interests. It is here that I want and need to put my energy and efforts. I am working with others on a grass-roots project to make sure everyone in the state has a proper voter ID so that no votes are denied, even though the Voter ID bill is aimed at exactly that – repressing the vote. I am going to work for candidates in the next election who reflect our values. The values of all those who came to Moral Mondays and who have contacted me by emails, calls and letters expressing your dismay at what has happened to our progressive and forward-looking state. I look forward to working together to change this course and restore our state to the shining beacon it was for so long.
How many Democrats do you know that would resign from elected office to go help people obtain the proper identification so that they can vote? Sen. Kinnaird is standing up for what is really important. She could have stayed in office and continued to collect her salary, but she realized that she could make more of a difference on the ground by helping people get the proper identification.
Sen. Kinnaird is an example of why the Republican movement to suppress the vote is destined to fail. People will fight to make sure that their voices are heard. They will stand up in opposition to disenfranchisement. Instead of keeping voters at home, Republican voter ID laws motivate people to do what they have to do in order to vote. By turning voting into an act of defiance, Republicans are helping the movement to defeat them grow.
Which each movement to suppress the vote, Republicans are placing another shovelful of dirt on their political graves.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association