Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill Wednesday that would task the State Board of Elections with comparing voter and juror information to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls.
“Only citizens should be allowed to vote,” he said in a news release. “But blocking legitimate voters from casting a ballot is a risk we cannot take when the law already prevents non-citizens from voting and has legitimate mechanisms to remove them from the rolls. This legislation creates a high risk of voter harassment and intimidation and could discourage citizens from voting.”
Voting rights advocates encouraged Cooper to veto the bill as soon as it passed the legislature. They said the use of jury data would not reliably help maintain the voter rolls and could lead to discrimination and the disenfranchisement of recently naturalized citizens.
Cooper signed six bills into law, including a measure that restores early voting on the last Saturday before Election Day. Senate Bill 683 also extends some early voting hours.
“This legislation restores Saturday voting before election day which is one of the most popular and convenient days to vote,” Cooper said. “This will help reduce long lines on election day and make it easier for people to have their voices heard.”