Montravias King, an Elizabeth City State University senior, was elected to serve on the Elizabeth City council last night after overcoming challenges to his right to run for the position and attempted voter suppression of the college students that supported him.
King’s fight gained national attention in August when the Rachel Maddow Show highlighted his campaign as part of a segment on North Carolina voting right issues. He was originally denied the opportunity to run for the council position by the Pasquotank County Board of Elections based on his on-campus residency but the State Board of Elections overturned that challenge in September.
Montravias’ State Board win was much bigger than securing a spot on the ballot; he also represented a victory for college students all over North Carolina whose adequacy in the polls were in question. Residency requirements to run for office and to vote are the same and if King’s identification was not good enough to enter the race, student’s rights to vote where they went to school were also at risk.
Last night, King became the first ECSU student elected to city council in Elizabeth City. At 22 years old, he’s also one of the youngest candidates to earn a seat. He received the largest amount of votes out of a field with seven candidates.
King plans to bridge the gap between the University and the city, building a better relationship and creating more opportunities for students.