Three months ago, I asked “should NC courts continue to withhold lists of potentially ineligible voters from election officials?” Apparently, Democrats in the General Assembly think so. SB 250 (Remove Foreign Citizens from Voting Rolls) has come up for votes in both the House and the Senate over the past several months, with the latest versions in each chamber passing on party-line votes.
In debate on a revised version of the bill in the House Rules Committee on October 1, Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham) claimed that SB 250 was a “voter suppression bill.” Other Democrats have objected to a provision in the bill that makes the names of those removed from voter rolls for not being citizens public.
Removing non-citizens from voter rolls should be a consensus issue. There is already a mechanism in place for people scheduled to be removed from voter rolls to be notified and have an opportunity to stop the removal. Last year, 19 people were charged with illegal voting due to not being citizens. During trials on those cases U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle harshly criticized election officials for misconduct in not previously removing those people from voting roles. While we can argue about the extent of the problem of non-citizens voting, it is a demonstrably real problem.
Since both chambers of the General Assembly have passed different versions of the bill, they will have to be reconciled before a final bill can advance to an expected veto by Gov. Roy Cooper.