Montravias King brings national spotlight to NC student voter suppression

Voting Rights

On August 22, 2013 The Rachel Maddow Show was devoted entirely to North Carolina voting rights issues. One of the major topics was SCSJ client Montravias King. Mr. King has lived in Elizabeth City since the summer of 2009, when he moved there to attend Elizabeth City State University. During the last four years, Mr. King has lived in Elizabeth City year round. His address on his driver’s license is the address of his alma mater, Elizabeth City State University. He votes in Elizabeth City. He does community service in Elizabeth City. For these reasons, Mr. King decided to run for city council in Elizabeth City. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that, although the residency requirements are the same for voting as for running for elected office, his on-campus address was considered inadequate to run for city council. SCSJ represented Montravias King at his hearing before the Pasquotank County Board of Elections, and on Tuesday September third SCSJ staff attorney Clare Barnett will represent Mr. King in his appeal to the State Board of Elections.

Montravias King
Montravias King

The following clip explains the wider implications of the Elizabeth City Board of Elections’ decision to deny Montravias King the right to run for office due to his on-campus address – which include a risk that all students living on college campuses across the state could lose the right to vote where they go to school.

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In addition to representing Montravias King in his ongoing battle for equal voting rights for college students, SCSJ is challenging North Carolina’s new monster voter suppression bill in two separate lawsuits – one challenging Voter ID requirements and one challenging other parts of the law such as limits to early voting and the end of same-day registration. SCSJ has also filed a challenge to the partisan voter redistricting of the Wake County School Board.
There is much work to be done to protect the right to vote for every eligible North Carolinian, and we can’t do it without your help! Please consider making a donation today to support ongoing efforts to protect the right to vote in North Carolina. Click here to support SCSJ’s work!