North Carolina Republicans Propose Record-Setting Voter Restrictions

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lawmakers in North Carolina are preparing to adopt what critics call the most extreme voter-suppression bill in the country.


In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that threw out some provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Republicans—who control both houses of the legislature and the governorship—introduced the 57-page House Bill 589.


Liberal watchdog groups have expressed outrage about the many restrictions in the proposal, with ThinkProgress calling it a “voter suppression magnum opus.”


The legislation would, among other things:


  • End pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds at public high schools


  • Prevent counties from extending voting hours in case of long lines


  • Do away with same-day voter registration


  • Allow voter challenges by any registered voter of the county rather than just from the precinct


  • Shorten early voting by a week


  • Eliminate straight party ticket voting


  • Increase the maximum campaign contribution to $5,000 and further increase the limit every two years based on changes in the Consumer Price Index


  • Reduce disclosure requirements for ”independent expenditure” committees


  • Authorize expanded number of “at-large” poll observers with increased access to polling areas


  • Make it more difficult to add “satellite” voting sites for elderly and disabled, such as at nursing homes, by requiring unanimous approval of a county board of elections


  • Prevent anyone other than a legal guardian from being paid to help a disabled voter enter a polling place


  • End mandate for voter registration drives



The bill also states that the order of candidates on a ballot should be in alphabetical order, except that the first party listed should be the one that won the last election for governor.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky


To Learn More:

Worse-than-Imagined Voter SuppressionBill Emerges (by Rob Schofield, Progressive Pulse)

North Carolina On Cusp Of Passing Worst Voter Suppression Bill In The Nation (by Scott Keyes, Think Progress)

House Bill 589 (General Assembly of North Carolina) (pdf)

Court Rules Republican National Committee Must Still be Monitored for Voter Fraud (by David Wallechinsky and Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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