Welcome to Kinston, N.C. The city overwhelmingly voted to eliminate party affiliations for candidates in local elections. Given the state of each of the political parties these days, one might give the city the benefit of the doubt that this decision is a good, healthy thing.
But, Kinston must pre-clear any actions it takes regarding voting and elections with the Department of Justice pursuant to the Voting Rights Act. And the Department said, “no.” That, in and of itself, is not all that surprising (troubling, but not surprising). What is quite startling is the language the Department uses. According to the Washington Times:
The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters’ right to elect the candidates they want.That’s right… “white voters… will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats.” Well, this is fairly common theory among abusers of the Voting Rights to political ends, but it usually isn’t said in such clear language.
What is particularly interesting, according to the article, neither local elected officials in Kinston nor a group of local voters could recall a Republican ever winning an election in the town. It’s a “one-party town.”
Further, if the article is correct, the town voted for this change last November, when a record number of blacks turned out to vote for President Obama.
Finally, again according to the article, even the local NAACP chapter head is skeptical of the decision.
No one doubts the troubling racial past of many jurisdictions in America - particular, of course, in the South (though it would be unfair not to give a hat tip to Cincinatti, South Boston, etc…). But the Voting Rights Act has, sadly, become little more than a tool for political hacks to hide behind race in a quest to promote liberal ideology and the Democrat Party.