Change in election becomes black-and-white controversy|Obama administration feared voters would pick non-Democrat candidates
The U.S. Justice Department has demanded – and a federal judge has agreed – that residents of a North Carolina city cannot make their municipal elections nonpartisan because the Obama administration representatives don’t like the possible outcomes that could result.
The result comes in a recent case involving Kinston, where voters overwhelmingly – the victory margin was about 2-1 – decided they wanted to leave the political affiliations off of candidates’ names in their city elections.
Not so fast, said Barack Obama’s Justice Department. If the affiliations are left off, a few white voters might not know who was the Democrat, and they might vote for a member of another party, the federal officials warned, and that can’t be allowed.
After city officials waffled before the demand, several citizens challenged the order in court, and now a judge has turned them back without ruling on the issue itself. The judge said the citizens – taxpayers and voters in the city – had no “standing” to challenge how their own elections are run.
Kinston’s plan was simple: make the elections nonpartisan so that voters would choose a name, not a political party.
However, the U.S. attorney general ordered the election results voided because “removing the partisan cue in municipal elections will, in all likelihood, eliminate the single factor that allows black candidates to be elected to office.”
The federal government argued that “a majority of white Democrats support white Republicans over black Democrats in Kinston city elections,” except for “a small group of white Democrats [who] maintain strong party allegiance and [who] will continue to vote along party lines, regardless of the race of the candidate.”