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Bob Hall, Executive Director, Democracy North Carolina, released the following statement this afternoon on the Senate’s new voter ID bill:

“The state Senate released its version of H-589, the photo ID requirement bill today. A comparison of some features with the House version is below.

The Senate bill takes a double swipe at college students, making it harder for them to vote. It refuses to accept student IDs from any college; the House at least accepts those from the UNC and community college systems. And it restricts the use of an out-of-state driver’s license to 90 days from the day of becoming a NC registered voter; the House accepts the out-of-state driver’s licenses as a legitimate government-issued photo ID. These are unnecessary, mean-spirited changes that target and punish college students who want to participate in the civic life of their college community.

The Senate version keeps a House provision that will make the NC law one of the most restrictive in the nation – harsher than the ones in Florida, Idaho, Michigan and several other states with a photo ID requirement. Read More

One of the more controversial bills of this year’s voter suppression package at the North Carolina General Assembly is Senate Bill 667 – a proposal that would purport to prevent parents from claiming their children as tax deductions if they register to vote in the communities where they attend college.

Now, it appears, we know where the lead sponsor, Senator Bill Cook, of got at least some of the inspiration for the bill — from local officials in one of the counties he represents (Pasquotank). As it turns out, suppressing the votes of college students there (at least the African-Amerian ones)  is  a popular sport for some conservative politicians.

Attorney Clare Barnett of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice has the story:

Black student voters challenged and removed from voter rolls

Fifty-six students at the historically black university, Elizabeth City State University, were removed from the voter registration rolls by the Pasquotank County Board of Elections after challenges by the local Republican Party Chair. During an 8 hour hearing, the Pasquotank GOP Chair, Richard Gilbert, challenged Read More

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: Read More

As the following press release explains, the good government people at Democracy NC are asking folks to spread the word about an outstanding nonpartisan organization that can help with voter problems and querstions.  

For Release Thursday, October 18, 2012                                           
Contact: Bob Hall, 919-489-1931

Confusion Over ID Rules, New Districts & Possible Challenges: Fuels Need for “Election Protection” Hotline and Special Website

 As North Carolinabegins its early voting period today, Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, has launched a toll-free hotline to help voters address problems and answer questions: 866-OUR-VOTE.  Read More

NPR has a story today detailing some challenges faced by voting-eligible Asian American citizens.

From name confusion by officials to communication barriers, frustration and other difficulties may discourage or deny the rights of eligible voters.

Enacting Voter ID legislation in North Carolina will prove to be detrimental to the voter rights of minority communities in the state.