Votes Not Counted: Amber's Story

Today SCSJ is introducing our “Votes Not Counted” series. Each post tells the story of a person qualified to vote before the passage of North Carolina’s Monster Voter Suppression Law, whose ballot was unjustly denied this year. Below is Amber’s story. If you know another eligible voter whose vote has been denied, please email
Amber Alsobrooks is a lifelong North Carolina resident and has been voting since she turned 18. In this November’s election, she has been denied the right to vote because of the law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013 to “combat voter fraud.” That new law (H.B. 589) ended same day registration—the ability of voters to register (or to change their registration from county-to-county) during early voting.
Amber is a married 42-year-old who is currently in the process of getting a graduate degree in clinical health psychology. She has worked for many years providing counseling and therapy for college students and people with serious illness, helping her fellow North Carolinians through challenging times in their lives.
Amber and her husband own a home in Orange County, but she had to move to Boone in the fall of 2012 to do coursework at Appalachian State University. She lived there until May 2014. She registered to vote there, and voted in the November 2012 elections.
After finishing her coursework, she moved back home, and is currently doing a clinical rotation at Wake Forest Baptist Health. On Saturday, October 25, Amber and her husband went to vote at an early voting site in Orange County—her husband got to vote, and she did not.
When she checked in to vote, Amber thought she could update her address. She was a registered voter in Watauga County, and had voted there before. She’d voted in Orange County many times before that, before she moved to Boone. Amber had heard about the repeal of same day registration, but she thought that only affected Election Day. Amber believed that by going to early voting ahead of the election, she was being proactive. Instead, Amber was told that she missed the registration deadline for voting in Orange County. She asked about voting where she was currently registered, but was informed that she could not vote there because she didn’t live there anymore. Amber was told she was just out of luck.
Amber is heartbroken that she is being forced to sit on the sidelines during this important election. She views voting as an important civic duty—one that she wants to do. Like hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians in today’s mobile society, she had to relocate for school and to advance her career. Had same-day registration been available, Amber would have been able to vote, just like she has for years.
There is no reason that Amber should be disenfranchised, and she is not alone. Amber wants everyone to understand that voters are being denied their constitutional rights because of bad decisions being made by Raleigh lawmakers. Amber is sharing her story in order to fight back against bad voting laws.
If you know an eligible voter whose vote has been unfairly denied, please ask them to tell their story! Contact for more information.