North Carolina Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis, Celebrates Independence Day by saying “Frack You” to Democracy

I know, I know, we’ve been talking politics too much around here, but I couldn’t sit on this one. Earlier this week, the NC House overturned Governor Bev Perdue’s veto of a bill to allow natural gas exploration (hydraulic fracturing, or, colloquially, “fracking”) in North Carolina. The only problem, the veto wasn’t overruled. The News and Observer today reports that the vote was only sustained by an error in the voting process, one that the responsible Representative immediately recognized and tried to rectify. Miss-votes are not that uncommon, the Speaker of the House has the power to wave the rules and allow the representative to recast their vote, and often does. This isn’t a case of someone having second thoughts or changing their mind after the vote, this was an error that should have been quickly rectified.

Except Speaker of the House Thom Tillis didn’t rectify it. He didn’t recognize the representative on the floor, and he rushed the vote to closure to prevent it from failing. As our American readers enjoy their day off to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, let’s all take a moment to reflect on how little respect Speak Tillis has for the democratic process. I don’t care which party you align with. I don’t care whether you support or oppose natural gas exploration, we should all be opposed to our representatives usurping the democratic process for their own political gains. Let him know exactly how you feel on twitter or contact him through his webpage.

I can only think of one thing to say:


This concludes our political rantings for the foreseeable future.


  1. Joe · July 4, 2012

    “we should all be opposed to our representatives usurping the democratic process for their own political gains.”

    Wait….this is _exactly_ what politics is all about.

  2. WhySharksMatter · July 5, 2012

    As ridiculous and indefensible as it was for Speaker Tillis to not allow the representative to change her vote, how hard is it to push the red button instead of the green button? It seems like a pretty simple interface…

    • Southern Fried Scientist · July 5, 2012

      You’ve seriously never pressed the wrong button? Seems a bit absurd to hold someone to an irrational standard of perfection.

  3. Susan v · July 11, 2012

    Please sign and share this petition. our “rules” do forbid a change if the vote makes a difference in the results, however, NO STATE FORBIDS a change that is made within seconds of casting a mistaken vote EXCEPT NC.

    I have official Rules from 43 states and those who use a voting machine allow time to correct a vote. In some cases the speaker specifically asks if anyone needs to before locking the machine. In New Jersey, if the vote is a mistake, it can be corrected even AFTER the announcement.

    What is unique about NC is there is no option to change AT ALL -except if the vote doesn’t make a difference —and it only gives members 15 seconds to vote. Some give up to 22 minutes. The US HOUSE gives 15 minutes and the first 10 minutes they can change the vote as many times as they like.

    Most states allow “substantial time” to vote, then the speaker gives them time to change the vote BEFORE locking the machine and announcing the results.

    I am getting more details, but if nothing else, we have a flagrantly unfair voting system that should be exposed to all the World, and since Carney, as I have been told, was TRYING to change her vote before the machine was locked and the results announced (WHICH ALL OTHER STATES ALLOW) then she should have been allowed to do so – especially during a near – midnight voting after long hours of work.

    Either we have malfunctioning machinery or our state doesn’t allow a vote CORRECTION within seconds!!!!!

    We have to expose this injustic and demand, under the circumstances, that Carney’s real vote count. We also should demand FAIR voting rules (not just at the Speaker’s discretion) for ALL future votes.

    We must not allow Tillis to ignore this – there must be debate and verification — justice and fair play.

    Susan V. Kill Devil Hills

    Check Care2 in a day or two – we are getting together a story on this along with the petition.

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