VIP Legislative Goals for 2014 “Short Session”

The Voter Integrity Project of NC has certain areas of North Carolina’s election law that need adjustments. A few of the areas we would like to see addressed during the 2014 “short session” are explained here. Please continue reading to see.

LA_Observer Rights — Create an Observer Bill of Rights

Observers are the only independent sources of information during the voting process. Everybody else is more concerned with conducting the election and staying out of trouble. Observers are (not actually) “paid” to watch the overall process and not trends and problems. some Judges have shown intolerance for such people in their Precincts. We’ve heard countless stories of observers being bullied and abused by Election Judges and want it to stop. One of our favorites involved an Observer booted out of the polls before the ballot box was sealed. All the voters had gone for the day (during early voting) and everybody was standing around waiting for the ballots to be sealed. The Observer was first given the clue that the Chief Judge didn’t want her around; and then, a few minutes later, she was ordered (by the red-faced Judge) to depart the Precinct because she had been talking to one of the other Precinct workers. They had been chit chatting about shoes, but the Judge cited the keep-your-mouth-shut rule to get the Observer off the premises before the ballot boxes were sealed. In the words of that “Church Lady” on SNL . . . how convenient! Another Observer (who was 70 years old) was told to stand in the corner and not move. “If you move, you’re out of here.” Could he hear the names of any voters? No. Could he observe the entire process? No. Did he complain? Yes. He was later allowed to stand with his back against a certain wall. He still couldn’t observe everything . . . but at least he was out of the corner!  Bottom Line: This proposed legislation would specify certain rights for the Observer that a Judge could not ignore. See attachment for details.

LA_Eliminate Curbside Loophole — Require Photo ID for Curbside Voting

There is a loophole in the voter ID law passed during the long session that allows “curbside voters” to avoid producing a photo ID when voting. It looks like a technical error done in haste during last-minute drafting and re-drafting of the legislation. In speaking with key people involved in the legislation, the looks of their faces when we asked about it confirms our suspicion that it was an unintended oversight. In any event, it needs to be fixed. The attachment shows exactly which lines of the current law need to be stricken in order to close this loophole.

There will be other Legislative Advisories posted to this page (some archived from 2013) as well as our flagship document we circulated at the beginning of the 2013 “long” session; so be sure to bookmark this page and check back with us.