It was no surprise that North Carolina Republican state lawmakers would be introducing voter ID legislation this year, after a Republican governor was elected in November. But they attempted a head fake last month by suggesting they would take a tempered, “slow-walk“-ed approach to fashioning voter ID legislation. Instead, state Republicans in the House and Senate unleashed one of the most extreme voter restriction packages in the nation.
Despite no inkling of voter fraud in the state, Republicans introduced the following bills this week:
— HB 451 and SB 428: Cut a full week from the early voting period.
- HB 451 and SB 428: Repeal same-day voter registration during the early voting period.
- HB 451: Bans all early voting on Sundays.
- SB 666: Prohibits the child dependency tax deduction ($2,500) for parents if their child registers to vote at a different address, such as the town or city where they attend school.
- SB 666: Allows poll observers to move about more freely in the polling place, which creates more opportunities to intimidate poll workers and voters.
- SB 721: Requires strict government-issued photo ID to vote.
- SB 721: Enforces a 5-year waiting period, after a person convicted of a felony has served their time, before they can get their voting rights back (having their rights restored must also be approved unanimously by their county board of elections).
- SB 668: Amends the state constitution to disqualify voters deemed “mentally incompetent.”