North Carolina Omnibus Election Bill Is Not Just Bad Policy, It's Mean-Spirited

July 23, 2013
North Carolina State Capitol

The North Carolina State Senate has introduced House Bill 589 to be heard today at 2pm in the Senate Rules Committee. The 50-plus page omnibus elections bill is a wide-ranging piece of legislation that includes numerous voting restrictions. However, some of these voting provisions appear to be not only bad policy, but are particularly burdensome to voters.

These onerous specifics standout:

  • Makes it easier for vigilante poll workers to examine registration records and challenge voters.  
  • Eliminates required registration drives in high schools and pre-registrations for 16-and-17 –year-olds.
  • Makes it harder for working people to vote outside of work hours by trimming the flexibility for opening and closing times of early voting polling places, and abolishing the ability of voters to cast ballots outside their precinct.
  • Excessive regulation of satellite polling sites and other special polling places makes it more difficult for the elderly or disabled to vote in nursing homes, for example.
  • Gives candidates greater ability to hide their donors thereby leaving voters in the dark about who donated to what campaign.

Such measures don’t just harm democracy, they seem bent on curbing poll access for working people, young voters, seniors, and the disabled.

If this passes today, it heads to the Senate and then the House. Check back here later for updates.

[UPDATE: The bill passed the Senate Rules Committee this afternoon.]

(Photo: North Carolina State Capitol; WikiMedia Commons)