Action Alert: Voting Rights Threatened

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Today the NC Senate will introduce a new version of an omnibus voting and elections bill in the rules committee that will strip voting rights from people with guardianship. H589 VIVA/Election Reform as proposed by the Senate would do the following:

The Senate Voting Omnibus Bill:

Limits who can assist an individual who receives guardianship support

Any voter adjudicated as “incompetent” and has not been legally restored could only be assisted by an individual’s guardian, the chief judge or judge of elections, or an assistant authorized by the county board of elections (but only during one-stop voting). 

Limits personal care assistants and group homes from supporting voters

According to the proposed legislation, no one can receive compensation for providing assistance to voters as they enter or exit the voting booth or prepare ballots.

Limits access to in-person voting

  • Eliminates same-day voter registration during early voting
  • Eliminates provisional voting if someone shows up at the wrong precinct
  • Shortens the two-and-a-half week early-voting period by a week
  • Prohibits counties from offering voting on last Saturday before the election beyond 1 p.m.
  • Prohibits counties from extending poll hours by one hour on Election Day in extraordinary circumstances, such as in response to long lines

Increases the opportunity for NC voters to challenge another voter

The proposed bill would allow voters to be challenged by any registered voter of the county rather than just a voter of the precinct in which they are registered.

 

ACTION: This bill is moving fast, and we need to flood the Senate and House with calls and emails opposing the Senate’s Voting Omnibus Bill.  If you don’t know who represents you in the General Assembly, please check the first two district maps [http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx].

The message:

Stop limiting the rights of North Carolinians with disabilities to vote!

  • People under guardianship are capable of making decisions about voting.
  • Remove the limits on who can assist individuals with guardians
  • Remove the limits on who can help an individual with disabilities in and out of the polling place as well as to vote
  • Fully protect early voting, same-day voter registration, provisional ballots at the wrong polling place, and early registration of 16- and 17-year-olds
  • Don’t increase the opportunities to challenge voters on site

If you have questions about this or other policy issues affecting people on the autism spectrum or questions about who represents you in the North Carolina General Assembly, please contact Jennifer Mahan, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, at jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5068.

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