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NAACP begins voting rights radio campaign

The North Carolina NAACP State Conference has begun airing a new radio ad across the state urging people who think they have difficulty voting to call a toll-free hotline number of 855-664-3487.

In the ad, the Rev. William Barber, the state NAACP president, said the new voting laws passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. McCrory are among "the most restrictive voting measures in the country.''

"The law will make it harder for seniors, students and people of color to vote and their ballots counted.''

The ad is being paid for by the Advancement Project, a civil rights nonprofit.

Morning Memo: Daily Show says North Carolina trumps South Carolina in crazy

VOTING BILL TARGET OF LAUGHS: Another day, another national television show puts North Carolina at the butt of the jokes. The Daily Show on Comedy Central took aim at the recently approved elections bill that puts restrictions on voting. Host John Oliver joked that the state election bill would place “all voting booths on buoys that are only accessible by yacht." The segment lumped North Carolina together with Texas and Florida but the Tar Heel state (starting at 2:30) received particular attention and Senate leader Phil Berger make an appearance from a TV clip. Oliver says the voting bill is just the “tip of the true $h*!-berg of a legislative session" and concludes: “Your move South Carolina. Oh, you thought you had crazy Carolina all sown up, didn’t you?”

***The state's system to deliver food assistance is troubled and ALEC is targeted ahead of this week's meeting. Read more North Carolina political news below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Common Cause asks Eric Holder to step in to N.C. voting rights controversy

Common Cause on Tuesday called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to seek a court order overturning the voting laws the General Assembly approved last week, and requiring the Justice Department approve future election law changes in advance.

The request follows Holder's announcement on Thursday that his department has filed a federal court challenge to force Texas to obtain advance approval before implementing future changes to its elections laws. Holder said that wouldn't be the end of it -- that nearly two dozen new voting laws passed last year in a dozen states impeded voters from casting ballots.

“The attorney general’s strong response to a new Texas law imposing discriminatory Voter ID requirements has put states on notice that the administration intends to continue enforcing the Voting Rights Act,” said Arn Pearson, Common Cause’s vice president for policy and litigation. “Mr. Holder needs to back up those words with action in North Carolina as well.”

Pearson said the restrictions North Carolina's legislators approved are just the sort of measures the Voting Rights Act was enacted to prevent.

Gov. Pat McCrory has not yet signed the legislation into law.

Morning Memo: Abortion bill puts McCrory in spotlight, Monday protests grow

ABORTION BILL PUTS McCRORY IN A TOUGH SPOT: A controversial measure based on disputed science will get most the attention Tuesday at the statehouse. The legislation -- an amended version of which already passed the Senate -- requires teachers tell seventh graders that abortion is a risk factor in subsequent premature births. It gets a hearing in the House health committee at 10 a.m.

If approved, it could put Gov. Pat McCrory in the spotlight. In a gubernatorial debate, McCrory said he wouldn't support any new abortion restrictions -- a point critics plan to hold him to. “Governor McCrory made a promise to all of us back in October when he said he would not support any new restrictions to abortion access in our state. We’ve been collecting signatures all year from North Carolinians who have vowed to hold the Governor to his word,” said Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, in a statement. “I want to be very clear here,” Buckley continued, “We will consider anything less than a veto of legislation aimed at limiting access to abortion care as a breach of that promise.”

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: With Republicans unable to craft a state budget before the July 1 deadline, the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider a continuing resolution to keep government running at its current level for another 30 days. It could also get to the Senate floor later in the day. In the House, an education committee will debate a bill to create an independent board to govern charter schools -- a measure that the Republican chairman of the state board of education opposes. The House is expecting a light calendar when it convenes at 2 p.m.

***Read about the big crowd and growing number of arrests at the Moral Monday protests below in today's Dome Morning Memo. Sends news and tips to dome@newsobserver.com.***

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