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A Conversation on the State of Voting Rights in N.C.

DURHAM, N.C. – On the eve of a federal briefing on voting rights in Raleigh on Friday, a panel of experts will gather at Duke Thursday night to discuss the state of voting rights in North Carolina.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent federal watchdog agency, will hold a public hearing in Raleigh, which will include testimonies about N.C. voter experiences at the polls. Ahead of the hearing, The Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity (DCORE) and The Raben Group are co-convening a Thursday, Feb. 1, panel discussion and public forum to bring attention and awareness to voting rights issues.

The free event will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall at Smith Warehouse, Bay 4, C105 (114 S. Buchanan Boulevard, Durham). Free parking is available. Those unable to attend can watch a live stream here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgQ9mgFZYME.

The forum is intended to allow scholars and community leaders to examine the state of voting rights in North Carolina and to provide cultural and historical context for the hearing.

Panelists include:

  • Debo Adegbile, commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Juliana Cabrales, National Association of Latinx Elected Officials
  • Richard L. Engstrom, faculty affiliate, Social Science Research Institute at Duke University
  • Kerry Haynie, professor, political science, Duke University
  • Catherine Lhamon, chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights at the UNC School of Law

The event will be moderated by Mark Anthony Neal, chair of the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke, which is co-sponsoring the forum.

The following day, Feb. 2, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a day-long public meeting in Raleigh to gather public testimony about voting rights obstacles in for its 2018 report to Congress.  The Commission plans to address voting rights enforcement efforts after the 2006 reauthorization of the temporary provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the impact of the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision. The Commission will also consider enforcement of Sections 2 and 203 of the Voting Right Act, and whether new or enhanced federal protections could expand voting opportunities for all Americans, including those historically underrepresented because of their race, color or minority language group membership.

For more information on the hearing, visit http://www.usccr.gov/press/2018/01-26-Sunshine-Notice.pdf.