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LWVNC Urges Gov. Roy Cooper to Veto SB250

November 4, 2019

Raleigh, NC, Nov. 4, 2019 – The League of Women Voters of North Carolina has called upon Gov. Roy Cooper to veto SB250. The bill, which passed the House and Senate last week, is alternatively titled “Remove Foreign Citizens from Voting Rolls.” It requires state and county boards of elections “to identify non-citizens on the voting rolls… by using records of excusal or disqualification from jury duty.” Contrary to the statements of the sponsoring legislators, there is no significant evidence of voting by non-citizens in North Carolina and no significant problems were found in an investigation conducted by the N.C. State Board of Elections (NCSBE) following the 2016 election.

The bill may lead to disenfranchisement of recently naturalized citizens and make public the immigration status of non-U.S. citizens who are legal residents or have protected status, putting their safety at risk. Many legal voters could be stigmatized through this identification process as there is potential that many county boards of elections may misidentify voters who have the same name or their citizenship-through-naturalization status has not been updated. This law puts the burden on the accused voter to correct these errors.

“In actuality, this bill impacts a citizen’s right to vote and increases the chances that naturalized U.S. citizens will be discriminated against and harassed,” said Jo Nicholas, President of LWVNC. “We urge Governor Cooper to veto this thinly veiled attempt to suppress voter confidence and voter participation.”

LWVNC further suggests that North Carolina join a consortium of 29 other states in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), which brings states together to improve the accuracy and reliability of their voting rolls. ERIC recognizes that the appearance of improper voting, allegations of improper voting, and actual improper voting undermine public confidence in the electoral process and election outcomes. ERIC can be a tool to identify potentially improper votes and refer them to member states for further investigation consistent with each state’s laws.

About LWVNC: The purpose of the League of Women Voters is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government at all levels. Read more about our work: www.lwvnc.org