Worse-than-imagined voter suppression bill emerges

Just when you thought the 2013 session of the North Carolina General Assembly had hit rock bottom, it’s about to get a hell of a lot worse. Click here to see the worse-than-anyone-would-have-ever-imagined voter suppression bill that has emerged in the state Senate. The new 57 page proposal will be heard this afternoon at 2:00 pm in the Senate Rules Committee.

According to good government advocates who have gotten a chance to examine the proposal after obtaining a copy last night, the bill includes dozens of disastrous provisions including:

  • no more pre-registration for 16 & 17 year olds
  • no more paid voter registration drives
  • elimination of same day voter registration
  • voter can be challenged by any registered voter of the county rather than the precinct
  • a week sliced off Early Voting
  • elimination of straight party ticket voting
  • moves presidential primary to first Tuesday after SC– if SC holds its primary before March 15
  • calls for a study (rather than a mandate) of electronic candidate filing
  • increases the maximum campaign contribution to 5K
  • weakens disclosure requirements for “incependent expenditure” committees
  • authorizes vigilante poll observers, lots of them, with expanded range of interference (Section 11.1)
  • expands the scope of who may examine registration records and challenge voters (Sections 20.1 and 20.2)
  • repeals out-of-precinct voting (Part 49)
  • repeals mandate for high-school registration drives (Section 19.1)
  • eliminates flexibility in opening EV sites at different hours within a county (Section 25.1)
  • makes it more difficult to add satellite polling sites for elderly or voters with disabilities (Section 26.1)
  • changes what is the official ballot, particularly for DRE machines (Part 30)
  • limits who can assist a voter adjudicated to be incompetent by court (Part 34)
  • repeals three public financing programs (Part 38)
  • in addition to raising contribution limits to $5,000, the limit will continue to increase every two years with the Consumer Price Index from Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Section 42.2)
  • a lobbyist who is also PAC official will not be able to distribute the PAC’s donations (Part 47)
  • repeals disclosure requirements under Candidate Specific Communications (Part 48)

 All in all, there’s a certain evil symmetry to the proposal; after having spent months passing scores of regressive and destructive proposals into law, state leaders are now, like thieves covering their tracks, doing everything in their power to make sure they’re not caught or punished for their actions. Truly remarkable.

19 Comments

  1. ElinorBridges

    July 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Please leave the Voting Rights alone!!! You want to encourage people to vote!!! The changes you propose are detrimental to our rights to vote as citizens and does do not have the checks and balance as our current set up has now.

  2. ML

    July 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

    We already have abysmal voter turnout. Repubs are full of lies but don’t worry their 30 year reign of terror will end.

  3. Brian Irving

    July 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Just when we thought NC’s election laws could not get more restrictive. Republicans are for limited government; they want government limited to them.

  4. Paul I

    July 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Now I understand why Republicans are so worried about voter fraud. This makes me want to go vote against them over and over.

  5. Doug

    July 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    ….and that is why we need these types of laws. Too many people voting over and over, even after their death.

  6. Jordon Greene

    July 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    While voter choice and free speech at the polls languishes in Senate Rules, this is what they give us. More restrictions on young people voting, a pathetic change to the order of candidates on the ballot, prohibition on paid registration drives and elimination of same day voter registration. Despicable.

  7. ML

    July 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Doug dead people aren’t allowed to vote. There’s already laws regulating that so if they don’t work why bother with regulating further? Isn’t that the repubs talking point on regulating guns, the financial industry, the environment, business, etc.?

  8. Michael

    July 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    @Doug – Please provide any proof at all of this statement. I have yet to see any credible evidence of any voter fraud taking place and only hear anecdotal stories of it actually occuring.

  9. Tiana

    July 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    One of the changes not listed here is that absentee ballots must now be signed by TWO witnesses (G.S. 163-231(a)(5)), and as far as I can tell, patients in hospitals or rest homes must have their ballots signed by two people over 18 years old and who are either close relatives, or people serving on a “multi-partisan team.” (G.S 163-226.3(a)(4))

    It says there are further exclusions to the eligibility of witnesses in “163-237(b1),” but I can’t find this section in the bill, so I am not sure what that refers to. If anyone can find it, please respond!!

    This is also linked in the article above, but just in case:
    http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/HB-589-7-22-2013.pdf

  10. Allen

    July 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    This is a good bill.

  11. Gina

    July 24, 2013 at 8:38 am

  12. Gina

    July 24, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Elinor If voting is detrimiental then chickie you should be happy that it’s getting closer to being honest. Nothing there restricts voting, just the vote often crowd (dims).

    ML. what 30 yr reign of terror??? you dims have held office here longer than that.

  13. NoPublic

    July 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Gina:

    1) ACORN is dead. And has been for years now. Stop beating that deceased equine
    2) Registration is not voting. Repeat. Not. Voting.
    3) Students voting their student residence is not fraud (or at least it shouldn’t be). If you live there more than 50% of the year you should be able to vote for things that influence your life there.

    So…. you got nada but hot air. As is usual. Real voter fraud is as scarce as chicken teeth.

  14. Doug

    July 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    ML,
    How do you know if someone is voting in the place of a dead person then? As an example, my father in law passed away a month or so before the last election. Assuming I had the morals of a liberal and went to vote as him, what controls are there over that on election day? Note that we did not have time before the election to have all the paperwork processed……….I would doubt there are even controls between the elections that work consistenly.

  15. ML

    July 24, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Doug the law applies to everyone. You can’t vote if you aren’t alive. What’s to stop a felon from getting a gun even if it is illegal to do so?

    Voting is a fundamental right and some would say the right to bear arms is equally a fundamental right. So regulation for one is ok but not the other? I don’t understand you and your friends douggy

  16. ML

    July 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

    If your true concern was fair election and stopping voter fraud (which has no factual backing) then you’d have the same concerns in other policy areas and thus you would be pro-government and pr-regulation. Welcome to the dark side douggy. Unless you’re just a hypocrit…

  17. Jim Wiseman

    July 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    It appears it makes it harder for Democrats to steal elections. Looks different from the bottom of the pile, doesn’t it?

  18. Sackajaweah

    July 25, 2013 at 1:35 am

    I don’t understand why preventing 16 and 17 year olds from pre-registering is a problem. If they cannot vote until they are 18, what is the issue?

  19. nick

    July 25, 2013 at 9:53 am

    NC republicans and NC democrats have been in a gang war in NC since the early 1900′s. When one gets majority control, it spends all of its time trying to undo what the other party previously did. NC will never progress forward with either the democratic party or republican party in control… NC is screwed.