July 24, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Francis X. De Luca (919) 834-2099, Francis.DeLuca@nccivitas.org
RALEIGH — The Civitas Institute has hailed House Bill 589, VIVA [Voter Information Verification Act]/Election Reform, for starting to bring North Carolina’s election process into the 21st century.
“The updated bill includes many needed changes to North Carolina’s election law,” Civitas President Francis De Luca said. “The latest version of HB 589 will finally implement a photo ID requirement at the polls to restore confidence in our electoral system in general.”
De Luca also praised HB 589 for eliminating Same-Day Registration so that everyone will be required to register at least 25 days before Election Day. This will give the local boards more time to verify a registrant’s address, thus detect fraud.
Among the reforms is a shortened early voting period. The bill changes the length of time for early voting from 17 days to 10. The requirement of 17 days of early voting in every election put an unnecessary financial strain on local jurisdictions. This change also will standardize early voting and make the voting sites and times uniform within counties.
In addition, the legislation makes voting by mail easier by eliminating the requirement that voters who vote by mail must make their requests for a ballot in their own handwriting. This provision reverses a change made in the 1990s to discourage using the absentee-by-mail process.
The bill also includes the first change in contribution limits in more than 10 years. The campaign contribution limit will be increased from $4,000 per election to $5,000. The inflation adjustment will aid candidates who don’t fund their campaigns with their own money.
“These and other long-overdue reforms in HB 589 make up the first comprehensive updating of our election laws in several decades,” De Luca said. “North Carolina’s election system has become a jumble of complex and sometimes contradictory laws and administrative decisions. The process is confusing and dysfunctional, with no built-in security to protect the integrity of a person’s vote. This bill will start to restore sanity to the election and voting process and going forward we will see a much improved system.”
More information on the Civitas Institute is available at www.nccivitas.org, or contact Jim Tynen at (919) 834-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.