On June 15, House lawmakers approved a new bill (Senate Bill 325) containing dramatic changes to Early Voting in North Carolina and chipping away at voter rights in our state. Despite significant public and legislative comment opposing the legislation, the bill now moves to the Senate for a final vote.
Like the voter ID bill, the SB325 PCS reflects deceiving piecemeal Early Voting changes designed to look helpful, but that will ultimately hurt voters and the popular weekend days and voting sites they use.SB325 intends to:
**keep Early Voting at 17 days, but changes the start and end days from Wednesday to Friday (versus Thursday to Saturday under current law),
**require uniform weekday hours (7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.) for all five weekdays, that disincentivize county boards from having good weekend hours.
**create an Early Voting schedule with a maximum of two Saturdays (versus three Saturdays under current law), eliminating the popular, final Saturday of Early Voting.
**require that counties report on their list maintenance activity. While this language itself does not appear to change list maintenance requirements, we are concerned that legislators could introduce stricter voter purges following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on an Ohio purge law.
The bill would go into effect immediately — just in time for 2018 General Election.
This is lawmakers’ second effort to revive discriminatory portions of the illegal Monster Voting Law (read more about efforts to resurrect voter ID in North Carolina here).
Please contact your Senators now and tell them to help end this attack on voters — and oppose any effort to restrict Early Voting in North Carolina.