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93-year-old activist: NC voting restrictions worse now than during the Jim Crow era

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A 93-year-old activist at the center of a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s restrictive voting laws told MSNBC host Al Sharpton on Wednesday that the climate surrounding Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) GOP-backed legislation brought back unpleasant memories of the Jim Crow era of her youth.

“I can’t imagine that I’ve got to go through the same thing I went through 80 years ago,” Rosanell Eaton told Sharpton. “I can’t imagine going through it again. But I am going through it and it’s actually worse than it was then.”

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Eaton filed her lawsuit against the law last year, and quickly became a featured member of the weekly “Moral Monday” protests against the legislation.

The new laws eliminated same-day voter registration and “straight ticket” voting, while also requiring a state-issued identification card. Eaton’s lawsuit states that, while she has a current driver’s license from the state, the name on it does not match the one on her birth certificate. Ameliorating the discrepancy, the suit states, would “incur substantial time and expense.”

In supporting the laws, McCrory has argued that they were implemented to prevent voter fraud, but Eaton cited her decades of experience working as an election worker to rebuke McCrory’s statement.

“I worked the polls 40 years, and I worked over 25 years as a [precinct] judge,” she told Sharpton. “We sincerely checked the ballots and everything was going good. It was not fraud. They didn’t find any fraud.”

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The laws, part of a larger trend of Republican state legislatures limiting voting rights, have since been criticized by not only state activists, but President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

The state measures also came under fire after a Republican party official boasted to The Daily Show that they would enhance his party’s electoral chances.The official, Don Yelton, was quickly fired for his statements.

On Wednesday, Eaton confirmed to Sharpton that in her youth, she was forced to take a literacy test before being allowed to vote.

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“I think it’s worse [now] because I know what to expect,” she said. [Back] then, I didn’t know, so it wasn’t surprising. But it’s a very difficult situation now.”

Watch Sharpton’s interview with Eaton, as aired on Wednesday on MSNBC, below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump lies to the press about his massive tax increasing while departing to France for the G7 Summit

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President Donald Trump was caught repeating inaccurate claims when he spoke to reporters before boarding Marine One for his trip to France for the G7 Summit.

"I think our tariffs are very good for us. We're taking in tens of billions of dollars, China is paying for it," Trump argued.

In reality, China is not paying for the tariffs, which are paid by American importers and passed on to consumers, making the announcement a massive tax increase on Americans.

"Our tariffs are working out very well for us, people don't understand that yet," Trump argued.

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Bill Maher presents ’25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller’ on Real Time

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The host of HBO's "Real Time" presented "25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller" on Friday.

"In high school, I was voted 'Most Likely to Comb My Mummified Mother's Hair,'" was one item.

"I think tacos are stealing jobs from hamburgers," was another.

"I'm a Cancer. I don't know my astrological sign," was a third.

"The worst part about my car smelling like wet dogs, is that I don't own dogs," was a fourth.

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Bill Maher dances on David Koch’s grave: ‘I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful’

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HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher celebrated the death of right-wing billionaire David Koch, who died of prostate cancer.

"I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer," Maher said.

"Condolences poured in from all the politicians he owned and mourners are being asked, in lieu of flowers, to just leave their car engine running," he said.

"I know these seem like harsh words and harsh jokes, and I'm sure I will be condemned for them on Fox News, which will portray Mr. Koch as a principled libertarian who believed in the free market," Maher said. "He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers -- for decades."

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