One bright spot for Democrats on Nov. 8 was that they were able to pick up a governorship in North Carolina, an office that had been held by Republican Gov. Pat McCroy since 2013.
McCrory, of course, is most famous for signing a bill into law that essentially legalized discrimination of the LGBTQ community and barred transgender people in his state from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
The people of the Tar Heel State rightfully rejected McCrory earlier this month by electing Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, but that hasn’t stopped the GOP governor from trying to steal back his job.
As Slate notes, “[McCrory] seems intent on delaying the formal declaration of a winner—and delegitimizing the voting process—in order to let the Republican-dominated legislature ignore the true result and re-install McCrory as governor for another four years.
The state’s Republican House Speaker has even left open the possibility of packing the courts, and he says that the legislature does, indeed, have the power to give McCrory his job back – even though nearly seven thousand more voters chose Cooper.
— Taniel (@Taniel) November 22, 2016
Luckily, even Republican officials in the state have rejected most of McCrory’s challenges, but the Republican is now trying a different strategy, according to Slate:
Despite the utter lack of evidence to support allegations of fraud, McCrory’s team has launched a misinformation campaign to cast a pall of suspicion over the results. His campaign spokesman asked, “Why is Roy Cooper fighting to count the votes of dead people and felons?” McCrory’s close ally and current state budget director, Andrew T. Heath, also tweeted that Durham County has 231,000 residents over the age of 18 but 232,000 registered voters, implying fraud. (In reality, Durham’s 2015 voting-age population was about 235,600, and the county has only 193,659 active registered voters; its Republican-controlled election board already unanimously rejected a complaint alleging malfeasance.) Now McCrory’s lawyers are targeting black American voter outreach groups for purportedly violating minor procedural rules while helping voters fill out absentee ballots. The governor has falsely accused these groups of conducting a “massive voter fraud scheme.”
The Republican governor, who lost fair and square, seems to be following the playbook that Donald Trump put forward prior to the Nov. 8 election – if you lose, then it must be rigged.
Instead of gracefully accepting the wishes of North Carolina voters, McCrory is shamefully trying to discredit and ignore them.
McCrory’s behavior isn’t just bad for democracy in North Carolina. It’s bad for our country as a whole. Both parties in the Tar Heel state should stand together and make sure he doesn’t get away with it.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.