Category Archives: Voting

So What Now?

So yeah. Shit happened.

In case you missed all the action last night, which may or may not have included me stress crying into a Wendy’s frosty, here are the results:

President: Donald J. Trump (R)

Vice President: Mike Pence (R)

US Senator from NC: Richard Burr (R)

US House District 4 from NC: David Price (D)

NC Governor: Roy Cooper (D)

NC Lt. Governor: Dan Forest (R)

Agriculture Commissioner: Steve Troxler (R)

Attorney General: Josh Stein (D)

Auditor: Beth Wood (D)

Insurance Commissioner: Mike Causey (R)

Labor Commissioner: Cherie Berry (R)

Secretary of State: Elaine Marshall (D)

Supreme Court: Mike Morgan

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Mark Johnson (R)

Treasurer: Dale Folwell (R)


The U.S. Senate

Before this election, there were 44 Democrats, 54 Republicans, and two left-leaning independents. In this election, there were 34 seats up for re-election: 24 Republican seats and 10 Democratic seats. In order to gain a majority, Democrats would have needed to secure at least 5 more seats. With the loss of virtually every tight race (sans Nevada), Democrats were only able to gain 1 seat, leaving a Republican majority in the Senate of 51 Republicans, 45 democrats, 2 independents, and inconclusive results from Louisiana and New Hampshire at the time of writing. Louisiana is due to enter a runoff between Republican John Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell and New Hampshire is still 93% reporting with a .1% lead by Trump. Regardless of what happens with those two states, there is a Republican majority in the Senate.

In 2018, the Senate re-elections are not in a favorable position for Democrats with 23 Democratic seats available, two independents, only 8 Republican seats available for re-election. In order to secure a majority, Democrats will have to win 4 more seats. North Carolina will not be re-electing a senator in 2018.


The U.S. House of Representatives

Before this election, there were 188 Democrats and 247 Republicans in the House (218 needed for a majority). The House is re-elected every 2 years, so every seat was potentially up for re-election. Currently, results have 235 Republicans and 191 Democrats winning seats in the house with 9 undetermined as of yet. North Carolina elected 3 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

In 2018, the House will be up for re-election once more.


North Carolina Senate

Before the election, the NC State Senate was comprised of 16 Democrats and 34 Republicans (26 needed for a majority). In this election, all 50 seats were up for re-election. Six Democrats and 12 Republicans ran uncontested by another major party candidate, leaving 32 spots open for re-election. At the time of writing, there are 15 Democrats elected and 34 Republicans with one district still reporting, leaving a great Republican majority in the Senate.

NC State Senators serve for two-year terms and will be up for re-election in 2018.


North Carolina House of Representatives

Before the election, the NC House of Representatives consisted of 43 Democrats and 77 Republicans (61 need for a majority). Representatives serve for 2 year terms and all 120 spots were open for re-election. Currently, there have been 45 Democrats elected and 72 Republicans with 3 districts still reporting, maintaining a Republican majority.

N.C. House Representatives serve for two-year terms and will be up for re-election in 2018.


So What Now?

These election results are pretty bad. To recap, Republicans will now control the presidency, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the N.C. House, and the N.C. Senate. At least we can say we managed to vote Pat out. But this doesn’t mean this is the end. This election was not good, but it is not the end. In order for progressive policies to be implemented, we will need to continue to fight and maybe in 2 years, maybe in 4 years, we will be able to reach out to the kinds of voters that voted for Trump and bring them onto a more progressive side. Many of those voters thought that Trump would bring back factory jobs and reduce corruption. I think they will be disillusioned over the next few years. It is then our work to make sure that they feel that our Democratic candidates will advocate for them.

So what now? Take some time. Practice self-care. Let today be a shitty ass day. We will have time to regroup and act later. Just know that when that time comes, we all better show up this time.

Know Your Rights: Dos and Don’ts

Last Thursday, The Black Student Movement and the Campus Y co-hosted an event offering non-official advice for what students should and should not do when interacting with the police.

The event featured a panel consisted of Ada Wilson-Suitt, who currently serves as Director of Inclusive Student Excellence at UNC and previously was a practicing attorney.  The panel also featured Michael Jones and Ariel Smallwood, both second year law students at the UNC School of Law and President and Vice President of Black Law Student Association respectively.

The panelists wanted to make it clear they are not experts, but still gave excellent advice. Here are some of their tips:

1) Download the ACLU app. The app has a built in recording device that records both visual and audio. The app also has a tab titled “Know Your Rights” which details essential rights one should know. Essentially this app is very resourceful/useful and you should definitely get it!

2) Warrants are important. A warrant is absolutely necessary to search anything, your residence or your house. Courts don’t like when police officers search without warrants and anything they find without a warrant isn’t admissible in court, aka it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Take time to read over the warrant and make sure that it has your address on it, not just a general location.

3) Keep communication short and simple. Keep the conversations with law enforcement brief, direct, and only answer questions asked of you. If you are in a situation in which you are  read your rights, the only words you should be saying are “I want to speak to my attorney”.  You don’t have to speak but you should comply.

4) Keep calm and know your rights.  If you are being pulled over and you feel it is unsafe to do so, it is in your rights to put on your hazards and call 911 to notify them that you are pulling over to a protected area. If you’re ever accused of being under the influence you can request a witness be present.

In most situations law enforcement will treat you right, but it is important to know your rights!

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I’m A Little Tired Of Hearing The Name ‘Trump’”

Donald Trump is an overrated topic. At the speed he’s going, the nomination is bound to be his, meaning the American public and the global community will have to deal with his mouth and rhetoric until election time. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if it weren’t only March. Insert side-eye emoji here. Continue reading I’m A Little Tired Of Hearing The Name ‘Trump’”

Spell(ings) Check

A few weeks ago, Margaret Spellings started her job as the new UNC system president. However, she was not welcomed with open arms and smiles. Instead, several college campuses planned and executed a walkout to protest Spellings. Continue reading Spell(ings) Check

Vote Defenders: Election Protection Training Q&A

Arc writer Kyra Rubin talked with Ignite NC’s ‘Triangle Field’ Team Leader, Kim Hoàng, to discuss voting rights, voter ID laws, and the organization’s recent Vote Defender Training. These trainings equip student volunteers with the skills to educate citizens on how and when voting laws are changing, to monitor key precincts for any voter intimidation or voter suppression, and to document voter issues or incidents that occur at these precincts. Continue reading Vote Defenders: Election Protection Training Q&A

5 Think Pieces to Celebrate Black History

This year, February has been completely and entirely lit. With everything going on in the world, there is nothing to do but celebrate completely unapologetic blackness. With that being said, some amazing, insightful, hilarious articles have been written in honor of black history month, and while the month in coming to a close, these articles remind you to celebrate blackness every day of the year. Continue reading 5 Think Pieces to Celebrate Black History

Marching Forward Together

A few weeks ago, Reverend Barber came to speak at the Stone Center. His deep voice resonated throughout the auditorium as spoke of The Third Reconstruction that is beginning to unfold in America. He urged us, young college students, to join the movement, to lead to movement, and invited us to attend The Historic Thousands on Jones Street moral march on February 13th. There, the day before Valentine’s Day, North Carolinians from across the state gathered to march for love and for justice, Forward Together, Not One Step Back. Continue reading Marching Forward Together

Beyond The Bullshit

On February 4, 216 I went to the Campus Y to participate in a Student Body President debate titled “Beyond The Bullshit.” I came to this event knowing nothing about who the candidates would be or what their platforms were.  In honesty, this was my first Student Body President Debate I have ever attended in my time at Carolina, but I can also say it was an engaging experience that made me feel like an active student in the UNC community.  Candidates John Taylor, Bradley Opere, and Wilson Sink were in attendance for the debate.  I would like to preface the rest of this article by saying I have done my best to type word for word as questions and answers were being given, but I am not perfect, and did not get everything down verbatim.   

Continue reading Beyond The Bullshit

Campus Y Co-President Campaigns

This year the Campus Y has two teams running for the Campus Y Co-Presidents office: Monique Laborde and Noah Ponton; and Regan Buchanan and Lauren Eaves. Both duos have put up impressive campaigns with a strong media presence and in-depth platforms. After reading through their platforms, I wanted to get to know the candidates a little better, so I asked each team some questions. Read through this Q&A to get to know the candidates and make an informed decision about who to vote for!

Continue reading Campus Y Co-President Campaigns

The Movement towards the Third Reconstruction

On Friday, January 29th, Reverend William Barber II spoke at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center. Rev. Barber launched the well-known Moral Mondays in North Carolina. Moral Mondays are protest that were created because of several laws created by the N.C. government. The protests have spread to South Carolina and Georgia, as well as Illinois and New Mexico.

Continue reading The Movement towards the Third Reconstruction