North Carolina's Omnibus "Voter Protection" Bill Finally Arrives

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 23 2013 1:04 PM

North Carolina's Omnibus "Voter Protection" Bill Finally Arrives

Voting is set to get harder in the Tar Heel State.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

RALEIGH, N.C.—Around 6 p.m. at yesterday's Moral Monday rally, Democrats from the state legislature told activists that the voter ID bill they were there to protest had been altered. At 2 p.m. Tuesday (today), they'd get to see the new, omnibus "voter protection" bill that Republicans had jawed about for weeks.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Josh Stein helpfully put the details on his Facebook page:

The bill now does the following:

*shortens early voting by 1 week, 
*eliminates same day registration and provisional voting if at wrong precinct,
*prevents counties from offering voting on last Saturday before the election beyond 1 pm, 
*prevents counties from extending poll hours by one hour on election day in extraordinary circumstances (like lengthy lines), 
*eliminates state supported voter registration drives and preregistration for 16/17 year olds, 
*repeals voter owned judicial elections and straight party voting, 
*increases number of people who can challenge voters inside the precinct, and 
*purges voter rolls more often.

Meanwhile, it floods the democratic process with more money. The bill makes it easier for outside groups to spend on electioneering and reduces disclosure of the sources. It also raises the contribution limits to $5k per person per election from $4k and indexes to amount to rise with inflation.

The bill itself does what Stein said it would, though this addition sort of appeared out of nowhere.

SECTION 19.1. G.S. 163-82.25 is repealed.

That little line ends "Citizens Awareness Month," an annual occurence during which the State Board of Elections runs a voter registration drive. Did the state prove some sort of run of fraudulent activity during those months? Oh, no, but they're gone anyway. The usual Democratic strategy for making North Carolina competitive gets several legs knocked out from under it.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?