FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2023
Unified GOP House-Senate supermajorities enact critical bills protecting the right to vote in free & fair elections
Washington, D.C. – The North Carolina General Assembly today voted to override two of Democrat governor Roy Cooper’s recent vetoes of legislation making the state’s elections more secure, transparent, and accountable. Senate Bill 747 and Senate Bill 749 are now law.
Importantly, Senate Bill 747 contains a number of critical ballot and voter integrity provisions—including election records retention, poll worker protections, voter list maintenance, signature verification, and a ban on the private financing of local election offices used for partisan voter turnout—and was significantly strengthened by the House after a fumbled attempt in the Senate earlier this year.
Senate Bill 749 reforms the state and county election boards by requiring members be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and appointed by the legislature. In effect, the new law helps avert the perception of partisan advantages while promoting bipartisan confidence in election fairness and outcomes.
Only about half of North Carolina voters presently believe elections are fair and accurately tallied. According to a recent survey by Rasmussen Reports, more than half of U.S. voters doubt the next presidential election will be conducted fairly.
ETI conducted a comprehensive grassroots education and outreach campaign in 2023 to help pass Election Integrity that earns the trust of North Carolina voters.
National Chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued the following statement:
“Every voter should have faith in honest elections in which every legal ballot is cast and counted fairly, openly, and equally. With supermajorities in both chambers and a recently entrusted state Supreme Court free from its most radical elements, Republicans should be applauded for standing up for Election Integrity in a unified repudiation of Governor Cooper’s politically motivated vetoes. We thank the House and Senate and the bills’ champions for their diligence throughout a lengthy process, and urge their continued attention to these critical issues next legislative session so voters are equipped with the confidence and certainty they deserve.”
Senate Bill 747 Improvements:
- Prohibits private, non-governmental funding (including in-kind donations) of election activities (e.g., “Zuckerbucks”).
- Retention of election records for 22 months to comply with the NVRA.
- Provides clarifications to authority and restrictions for poll observers.
- Same-day registrant addresses are checked and returned mailings will trigger retrieval of voted regular ballots.
- Extends absentee ballot challenge period to five days after election day.
- Polls will close at 7:30PM on election day and all absentee/mail-in ballots must be received by that time.
- Makes it a misdemeanor crime for anyone other than a Board of Elections to affix a tracking code to absentee ballot request forms.
- Provides a new process for removing non-citizens from voter lists.
- Implements a pilot test for signature verification on mail-in ballot envelopes.
Presently, North Carolina’s voter lists are in disarray, with as many as 14 percent of registrants (one million) having been identified as duplicates or ineligible (1 out of 7 voters). Astonishingly, there is no statutory requirement to remove duplicate voter registrations from the state voter list until such voters contact the Board to request that they be removed.
Mail-in voting is exploited by unaccountable dark money organizations, which print hundreds of thousands of ballot request forms with bar codes for the purpose of illegally identifying and tracking those who are voting by mail—skirting state law which precludes early disclosure of those voting by mail.
According to the State Wide Election Integrity Reporting System (SEIRS), poll observers are being denied the freedom to observe, inspect, and report, nor is there parity in partisan representation for election observers during early voting, as required by law.
Thousands of voters are permitted to show up to register and vote a regular ballot on the same day during early voting, which is immediately scanned and counted without address verification.
The Election Transparency Initiative, a partnership between the American Principles Project (APP) and Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Pro-Life America, was organized to combat federal H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 legislation and advocate for state-based election reforms that voters can trust.