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NCGOP’s New Voting Bill Was Taken Nearly Word-for-Word From Group Run by Election-Denying Trump Lawyer

Source: Editorial Board

North Carolina Republicans have just unveiled their latest legislation attacking our democracy, this time with a focus on making voting harder – or even impossible – for many everyday North Carolinians.

According to The News & Observer, NCGOP leaders introduced Senate Bill 747, which implements stricter election rules, after consulting with a lawyer instrumental in the (unsuccessful) efforts to overturn the 2020 election using lies and disinformation.

North Carolina Republicans are working in lock-step with Donald Trump’s election deniers to silence voters in our state. In the lead-up to the introduction of SB 747, state Senate Republicans met regularly over the course of several months with “Big Lie” propagator Cleta Mitchell.

The NCGOP proposal mirrors, sometimes word-for-word, language advocated by national extremists. Their proposal is pulled directly from Trump election deniers’ playbook, including provisions to toss formerly valid mail-in votes, gut same-day registration, and impose other onerous changes on election officials, while banning private funding to help them pay for it.

Looking at a few specifics included in the legislation, the bill entitled “Election Law Changes” would:

  • Require all absentee ballots to be received by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Current state law allows for ballots to arrive up to three days after the election as long as they were postmarked on or before Election Day.
  • Require anyone who takes advantage of the same-day registration option to cast a provisional ballot instead of a regular one.
  • Require all county boards of election to report multiple data points every day of early voting, including information such as the number of “spoiled ballots” and the number of outstanding absentee ballots.
  • Ban all county boards and the State Board of Elections from accepting private money to implement the new rules and requirements.

Senate leader Phil Berger denied that Mitchell or her “Election Integrity Network” (EIN) had any role or impact on drafting the legislation, telling reporters that, “Mitchell or anyone else has not written the bill, has not markedly — or to any appreciable extent that I know of — changed what the members were intending to do.”

Lee County GOP chairman and EIN’s North Carolina (NCEIN) chapter leader Jim Womack told The News & Observer he and his team met multiple times with Republicans in the state Senate to discuss election laws.

Womack claimed that Republican leaders “were just receiving input” from EIN.

WRAL obtained leaked internal documents that highlighted just how much influence Mitchell and EIN had on crafting SB 747. According to WRAL, the legislation “largely matches up with the official legislative agenda of [EIN].” The documents also showed that, out of 17 suggestions by either EIN or NCEIN, 12 of them were either included in the bill or were already law (71%).

What SB 747 really shows is that state Republicans know their extreme agenda is unpopular and in order to implement their legislative goals, they will first need to change fair election laws to make it harder for average working people to vote. If Republicans had the support of our state’s residents, there would be no need to restrict voting and undermine our democracy in order to stay in power.

In fact, Womack has previously admitted that allowing more people to vote is bad for Republicans.

“I fundamentally disagree,” that “it’s a good thing for conservatives if more people vote,” Womack said.

Senate Bill 747 would become effective once passed, meaning that all these changes would need to be implemented and new rules adhered to by this fall’s municipal elections.


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