Even more voter suppression bills introduced – UPDATED

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, herehere 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.



  1. Doug

    April 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    At least two of these ammendments need to be given the benefit of the doubt. Why not apply the same types of rules to voting that you want to apply for guns? Mental health issues are issues, we also have a many checks and balances when it comes to felons, there needs to be time to make background checks to be sure they are not slipping through the cracks of crime.

    April 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm
    There is not enough information to determine if we are on the “right path”. Many decisions good or bad take years or even decades to take significant effect.”

  2. david esmay

    April 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    It would be nice if the Republican Ignoranti Caucus would actually focus on important issues like NC’s chronically high unemployment and stop attacking the disadvantaged, poor, or the elderly. Instead we get Teaidiot political theater.

  3. Sean D Sorrentino

    April 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    If you’re mentally incompetent, federal law bars you from purchasing a gun. If you’re a convicted felon, you’re barred from purchasing a gun. I’m willing to make a deal. I’ll support their right to vote on the day you support their right to own a gun.

    Or is it only SOME rights you support?

  4. Doug

    April 4, 2013 at 10:42 am

    +1 Sean

  5. […] “incompetent” voters from the […]

  6. David Cache

    April 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Senator Burr believes that the incompetent designation for Veterans should not disqualify the individual from the being able to purchase a gun. While disagreeing with his legislation based on the high rate of suicide among veterans, estimated last year at 31 attempts per day, I do feel certain that disenfranchising these same veterans or any people declared incompetent is wrong.

    The disenfranchising of felons who have served their sentence is equally wrong. The moral compass points the wrong direction with the withdrawal of the tax credit too. In all of these efforts to stop people from exercising their constitutional rights our legislature should instead be putting education programs in place to assist people in being more knowledgeable about the actions our government is taking to make the state a better place to live.

    Then, let the people decide if they like the course or not. I am concerned that these disenfranchising actions are being taken because they feel certain that people seeing the threats they are presenting to the middle class life style which makes up the majority of the population, will mean certain defeat at the polls for them and their cohorts in the next election.

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