Another day, another story about Republicans in the NC legislature that is just jaw dropping in the A) naked partisanship and B) objectively stupid impact on public policy.
Just days from the end of session, House Republican leaders have unveiled a massive rewrite of the state’s election laws.
Senate Bill 47, introduced with little notice in House Elections this afternoon, would repeal same-day registration in North Carolina, ban straight-ticket voting, shorten the early-voting period by a week, and ban early voting on Sundays (popular with churches for “Souls to the Polls” voting drives).
It would also repeal publicly-financed elections for the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Insurance Commissioner and Treasurer.
Suffice it to say that if you value A) good government; and B) more participation of citizens, these are all horrible ideas. Of course, if your goal is anything that you think will disproporitionately disenfranchise Democratic voters and increase big money influence in politics, you’re onto something. I’ll leave it to my good government muse, Damon Circosta, to hit back:
After some debate, the committee amended the bill to remove the section that would repeal same-day voter registration. They made a couple other minor changes, too.
But Damon Circosta with the non-partisan Center for Voter Education says it’s still a bad bill all the way around.
“S47 would make it easier for big money to flow into politics,” Circosta said. “It includes all sorts of ways to make it harder for people to vote, while at the same time making it easier for moneyed interests to play the game.”
The measure lost its first committee vote Tuesday afternoon because some Republican committee members were not present. But Lewis says he’ll use a parliamentary maneuver to bring it back tonight or tomorrow when more Republicans are in the room.
“It’s ironic that they’re going to get to vote twice to restrict citizens’ ability to vote once,” Circosta responded.