A former North Carolina state lawmaker defended her decision to resign her position in order to fight the state’s new voter suppression measures in an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow Monday night, calling it the best avenue.
“I can’t accomplish anything in this next session,” former state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D) told Maddow on Monday, explaining that the Republican-dominated state legislature would primarily focus on tweaking Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) budget. “For my situation, I can’t do anything because I’m one of only 17 Democrats out of 50 (senators).”
Kinnaird, who resigned on Monday in the midst of her eighth term in office, told Maddow she planned to work at the grassroots level to make sure more voters had the state-issued photo identifications required under the new law, which even McCrory admitted he didn’t totally know.
Kinnaird also backed up Maddow’s account of various local elections boards, each stacked with conservatives, aiming to curtail voting and early voting rights at universities — and particularly at historically black institutions — across the state, in apparent defiance of the Supreme Court’s decision affirming them in 1979.
“So, shut them down at Appalachian State. Shut them down at Elizabeth City. Shut them down at Winston Salem State,” Maddow recounted. “This has all happened within the past week. Voting rights under assault at warp speed in North Carolina.”
Watch Maddow’s discussion with Kinnaird, as aired Monday on MSNBC, below.