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Non-Citizen Voters Should Fear SB 250 . . .

. . . and THAT’s why we support it!

July 26, 2019 (Raleigh) Thanks to adroit maneuvering by Representative George Cleveland and Senators Joyce Krawiec, Jim Burgin, and Norman Sanderson, the Legislature may soon approve Senate Bill 250, a law to help election officials detect, remove, and prosecute non-citizen voters . . . but once again, the devil’s in the details.

           Can anybody tell us why NC Courts can hide certain jury-disqualifiers that directly affect the voter rolls?

“For the first time in seven years, this bill flew through the Senate,” said Voter Integrity Project Founder, Jay DeLancy, “but not before it took a hit from members who embrace government secrecy.”

Appealing to “privacy” concerns, a Senate committee revised the bill, so it prevents public oversight, but a recent federal lawsuit shows why this is a bad idea.

According to their filing against North Carolina election officials, the Public Interest Legal Foundation cited a federal law requiring states to maintain election records for at least two years and to “permit public inspection of all such records.”

The organization, founded by former DOJ attorney, J. Christian Adams, has sued NC, charging the State Board of Elections with unlawfully denying public inspection.

“PILF shows us how secretive election officials can invite costly litigation,” DeLancy said. “With a few small tweaks, SB 250 can help solve that problem.”

Confirmed: The “Myth” of Non-Citizen Voters

Citing a 2014 Washington Post report, DeLancy calls non-citizen voting a “serious issue” in North Carolina.

“In 2012, we verified several hundred non-citizen voters in one county and even triggered our first criminal referrals,” he said, “but the Clerks of Court shut us down. Without transparency, this bill will be powerless.”

Most NC counties use a jury summons form that shows several ways that state law disqualifies people from serving on jury duty. Three of the factors will impact voter list maintenance:

  1. The prospective juror is no longer a resident of the county;
  2. The prospective juror is still serving an active sentence for a felony;
  3.  The prospective juror is not a United States citizen;

Courts also mail the summons paperwork to prospective jurors who have passed away. While the state already has ways for election officials to find deceased voters, their processes are prone to embarrassing mistakes. SB 250 can help improve voter list accuracy.

The original version of Senate Bill 250 said, “If a person is excused from jury duty for any reason relating to [voting] qualifications . . . the record of his or her name, address, reason for excusal, and the date of excusal shall be a public record under G.S. 132-1.”

Voter Integrity Project encourages the public to ask their State Representatives to put the clause back into the law.

“Without transparency in election law, taxpayers labor for the government,” said DeLancy. “It should be the other way around.”

 

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