Thursday 12 October 2023

North Carolina Republicans Override Democrat Governor Vetoes On Election Bills

 North Carolina Republicans voted on Tuesday to override Democrat Governor Roy Cooper’s vetoes of two election bills that Republicans say will increase election integrity and Cooper claims are a “threat” to democracy.

The measures in question, Senate Bills 747 and 749, ban drop boxes for ballots, end the acceptance of absentee ballots after election day, limit the use of private money for elections, and shift authority away from the governor over the state’s board of elections.

“North Carolina voters deserve to know their elections are safe and secure. Thankfully they can have that confidence now that we have overridden the Governor’s veto of this commonsense elections bill,” North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said after the vote to bypass Cooper’s veto of SB 747.

The House voted 72-44 to override the veto and the Senate voted 30-19 to override the veto.

According to a press release from Moore, the bill will “Strengthens the rights of poll observers,” “Improves voter registration rolls by establishing a process for periodic removal of ineligible voters, including the deceased, convicted felons, and those who have moved,” and “closes same-day registration loophole.”

It also will ban election officials from using private money to administer elections. The use of private money to fund elections became widely debated after the 2020 election when groups-backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg poured millions of dollars into state elections. Some argued that the money was not distributed fairly, but mainly benefited areas that leaned Democrat.

After the original passage of SB 747, Cooper claimed that Republicans were being racist. “If you are black or brown, Republicans really don’t want you to vote,” Cooper said.

“This legislation has nothing to do with election security and everything to do with Republicans keeping and gaining power,” Cooper said in his veto message. “It encourages voter intimidation at the polls by election deniers and conspiracy believers.”


The other bill Republicans voted to enact, SB 749, will allow the North Carolina legislature the authority to appoint the State Election Board instead of the governor. Majority and minority leaders in the legislature would each select four members to serve on the elections board.

“The legislative takeover of state and local elections boards could doom our state’s elections to gridlock and severely limit early voting,” Cooper said in his veto message. “It also creates a grave risk that Republican legislators or courts would be empowered to change the results of an election if they don’t like the winner. That’s a serious threat to our democracy.”

The House voted 72-44 to override and the Senate voted 30-19 for the override. Republicans said that the measure will help the public trust elections in North Carolina.

“Single-party control has led to distrust and skepticism among voters. Voters should be asking themselves why Gov. Cooper is so desperate to maintain his partisan grip on the State Board of Elections,” Republican State Sen. Warren Daniel said, according to the Charlotte News & Observer.

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