Rachel Maddow covered the North Carolina Republican Party’s war on voting live from Elizabeth City, N.C., last night. She led off by explaining what it was that so terrified the state GOP that became desperate to kill the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of their own constituents. The source of their terror can be summed up in the two charts above. The chart on the left shows the demographics of the most motivated voters in 2008: students and African Americans. The chart on the right shows how efforts by the formerly Democratic-controlled North Carolina government to make voting easier helped improve the state’s turnout record from one of the worst in the nation, in 1991, to one of the best in 2012.
North Carolina Republicans realized that their days were numbered if these trends were allowed to continue. But instead of coming up with policies that might be more popular or candidates with better appeal, they chose instead to change the rules for voting in ways that specifically targeted students and African-Americans, among others.
Watch the entire segment from last night’s Rachel Maddow show below: