Senate bill introduction deadlines are conspiring to generate a flood of new proposals in the North Carolina Senate this week. Impending House deadlines will produce a similar affect on the other side of the Legislative Building in the coming days.
Advocates and observers are only just skimming some of the scores of bill filed for introduction in the Senate today, but a preliminary look is pretty darned frightening — especially in the elections law realm where conservatives have introduced several new bills to further restrict voting here, here, here, here and here.
Among the disturbing proposals:
- Elimination of the $2,500 child dependency tax deduction for parents of college students who vote in the town or city where they attend school. Specifically, lawmakers only want students registering and voting where their parents live – not where they attend college. This would mean that voter drives, marches to the polls (i.e. anything that inspires a young person to exercise their constitutional right in their college town) will carry a hefty tax penalty for their parents.
- A ban on voting by persons adjudicated “incompetent” – even if the person’s mental health issues have nothing to do with their abilities to understand voting. This is something that was no doubt inspired by reports in 2012 that a handful of residents at mental institutions were exercising their constitutional right to vote.
- A bill to eliminate automatic restoration of voting rights to felons after they receive unconditional discharge from prison. Now, such persons would have to wait five years, apply to their local board of elections and win unanimous approval from the board.
Democracy NC has more on these “mean and nasty” proposals 9and one good one as well) at its Link of the Day.
The bottom line: North Carolina conservatives continue to follow the national ALEC-inspired plan to restrict the franchise in response to the success of the Obama coalition. These bills are just the latest of many. Stay tuned.