Voting/Election Law Wrap Up

During the 2007 long session, legislators considered several bills pertaining to voter registration and identification laws, taxpayer-financed campaigns, and the assignment of North Carolina’s Electoral College votes for president. In particular, lawmakers passed legislation permitting people to register and vote on the same day at one-stop locations. Other legislation introduced, but not passed, would have required voters to show identification at the polls.

The General Assembly also passed two bills permitting public funds to be used for election campaigns for specific races. As a result of HB 483, the Town of Chapel Hill will be able to conduct a pilot program for taxpayer-financed municipal elections. Statewide candidates for the state superintendent of public schools, insurance commissioner, and state auditor will likewise be able to fund their campaigns with public dollars if candidates meet certain requirements and largely forgo private spending. Non-publicly financed opponents in these races will also face additional reporting requirements. A bill that would have established a pilot program to use public funds for legislative campaigns did not pass.

Finally, two bills that were considered, but did not pass, would have changed the way North Carolina participates in presidential elections. Senate Bill 353, which came close to becoming law, would have assigned the state’s Electoral College votes based on the presidential winner of each congressional district. The other bill, SB 954, would have entered North Carolina into a nationwide compact to award its Electoral College votes to the national popular vote winner.

Several bills were also introduced to move the responsibility for redistricting after the decennial census from the General Assembly to an independent commission or, even, individual citizens. These bills did not move during the session.

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This article was posted in Elections & Voting by Chloe Gossage on August 20, 2007 at 12:00 AM.

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