From Mother Jones:
“The first question I ask my customers is: Are you registered?” Jolanda Smith says.
Smith runs a hair salon?on the outskirts of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her hair is dyed lavender and her arms are covered in heart and shooting-star tattoos. In the lead-up to the midterms, she’s lending her storefront to Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s reelection campaign. Smith passes out sample ballots and flyers and tells customers how to register and where their polling location is. Last Saturday morning, she was talking God and voting as she straightened a customer’s hair.
“It’s: Are you gonna vote, yes or no?” she says, sectioning off a lock and pulling it through the iron. “God gave us a choice, and the choices are always yes or no. It’s not maybe. It’s not, ‘Let me think about it,’ ’cause those are excuses?On down from choosing Christ to voting. You gonna vote? Yes or no?”
IN 2013, North Carolina Republicans, led by Hagan’s opponent, state house speaker Thom Tillis, passed a far-reaching voting law that curtails early voting and eliminates same-day registration. The Justice Department sued North Carolina over the law, charging it was discriminatory and would depress minority turnout.
Hagan’s campaign knows that black voter turnout could decide her fate?and, by extension, determine which party controls the Senate for the final two years of President Barack Obama’s term. If African-Americans manage to turn out at presidential-year levels?if they’re at least 21 percent of the electorate?Hagan will probably win, says Tom Jensen, director of the North Carolina-based polling firm Public Policy Polling.
Read more at Mother Jones.