Our democracy is based on freedom, fairness, and choice. But here in North Carolina, a power grab is upon us. Extremists who want control over our elections are pushing for legislation that would limit our freedom to vote and diminish our voices. Our election process should be based on what’s best for North Carolina voters, not the special interests who clearly misrepresent the truth about elections and voting.
What’s really happening follows:
- SB 747 sharply reduces access to Absentee Mail-in Voting. The bill eliminates the 3-day grace period for mail-in ballots, which protects voters whose ballots are delayed by weather or other mail delays. Attacks on mail-in ballots are attacks on those who rely most on absentee voting: people with disabilities, the elderly, and rural voters.
- SB 747 exposes voters and election volunteers to harassment and criminal charges. This legislation could potentially criminalize the behavior of those doing voter registration and increase harassment of those assisting voters with disabilities.
- SB 747 opens the door for mass challenges to ballots by fraud conspiracy theorists, a long-standing goal of anti-voter extremists. Since 2016, these Big Lie fanatics have upended the lives of everyday voters by baselessly accusing them of fraud, including a specific incident involving Black voters in Brunswick County. Many provisions of SB 747 are taken directly from the legislative playbook of the state’s most extreme election deniers.
- SB 747 attempts to impose discriminatory, unreliable, and costly signature matching for mail-in ballots. Software-based signature matching is filled with discrepancies, including biases against communities of color, people with disabilities, and elderly North Carolinians. Combined with the existing requirement for two witness signatures, this makes North Carolina’s mail-in ballot verification the most extreme in the country.
- While the August 15 version of SB 747 makes signature matching a pilot program, it’s still a dangerous proposal for North Carolinians’ freedom to vote.
- In the final analysis, the proposed changes impose new barriers on older voters, college students, disabled voters, rural voters, and reinforce discrimination against
communities of color across the state.
Let our voices be heard. The lies about voter fraud question the motives of those who perpetrate the notion of dishonesty. Dishonesty is a closely held notion that distorts the truth.