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Until quite recently, North Carolina was among the worst states in complying with Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires states to designate public assistance offices as voter registration agencies to draw low-income citizens into the democratic process.

Gary Bartlett; Mayor Doug Boyd; Jimmy Carter 

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Until quite recently, North Carolina was among the worst states in complying with Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires states to designate public assistance offices as voter registration agencies to draw low-income citizens into the democratic process. Data compiled by an advocacy coalition, the NVRA Implementation Project, shows that many counties failed to register even a single public assistance client over several years. Gary Bartlett, the executive director of the N.C. State Board of Elections, jumped to action. Within two months of reading the study, Bartlett started implementing plans. The SBOE sent out signs to public assistance offices, and compelled agencies to offer registration to clients who are applying or changing their address. As a result, in 30 counties, 11 percent more voters were registered in February 2007 than in the entire year of 2005.

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Knightdale wants to limit its stock of affordable housing, according to The News & Observer. The town council voted unanimously to limit subsidized low- and moderate-income homes and scale back the proportion of affordable housing by almost two-thirds. Mayor Doug Boyd said, "It's a great policy...We've got our fair share." Fair share of what, poor people? Are they apportioned like congressional representatives?

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Thank you, Jimmy Carter, for tellin' it like it is. The former president told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "As far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history. The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me.... We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered. But that's been a radical departure from all previous administration policies." Carter backpedaled a bit on Monday, but at least he inserted his views into the news cycle.

Know about a local hero or zero? E-mail tips to heroesandzeros@indyweek.com.

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