Governor Cooper to Veto Election Bill that Makes it Harder to Vote and for Votes to Count | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper said today he will veto Senate Bill 747, the dangerous election bill that makes it harder for people, especially young people, college students away from home and people of color to vote and for their votes to count. The Governor also plans to veto Senate Bill 749 if it reaches his desk as drafted.

    "This legislation has nothing to do with election security and everything to do with Republicans keeping and gaining power," said Governor Cooper. "It requires valid votes to be tossed out unnecessarily, schemes to restrict early voting and absentee ballots, encourages voter intimidation and attempts to give Republican legislators the authority to decide contested election results."

    Senate Bill 747, influenced by the advice of former President Trump's hand picked election denier, Cleta Mitchell, who was on the call helping him try to overturn the election in Georgia, is a blatant scheme to further entrench Republicans' power by making voting harder for young and nonwhite voters who tend to vote more often for Democrats.

    Among other changes that restrict voting, Senate Bill 747:

  • Shortens the time an absentee ballot can be accepted to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, even if a delay is the fault of the US Postal Service, potentially disenfranchising thousands of voters.
  • Requires an unreliable and unworkable "signature match" in certain counties.
  • Makes it too easy for absentee ballots to get thrown out for minor issues.
  • Prioritizes partisan poll "observers" despite objections from a bipartisan group of county election board members across the state.
  • Fails to properly fund elections at the county and state level.

    The second piece of bad legislation, Senate Bill 749, would give legislative Republicans more power to influence how elections are run. The bill would change the structure of the State and County Boards of Elections in a backdoor maneuver to limit early voting and satisfy the Republican legislature's quest for more power to decide contested elections. The scheme would establish an even split of Democrats and Republicans on these boards, creating potential gridlock and leading to the supermajority Republican legislature and partisan courts deciding contested elections.

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    Currently, the county and state boards are split 3-2, with the party of the Governor holding a majority as required by the state constitution. Right now, county boards of elections set the number and placement of early voting sites, and if members can't agree unanimously, the final decision is made by the five-member State Board of Elections by majority vote. Under Senate Bill 749, if the State Board were to deadlock on a county's early voting plan - which is likely under a 4-4 split - then the plan reverts to just one early voting site in that county. That will result in long waits for the increasing number of North Carolinians who vote early.

    Governor Cooper is calling on North Carolinians to tell their state legislators to oppose these bills and uphold the Governor's veto.


    Contact: Sam Chan

    Phone: (919) 814-2100  •      Email: govpress@nc.gov
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