Democracy advocates speak out against anti-voter Senate Bill 749
On Tuesday, pro-democracy advocates gathered at the North Carolina Legislative Building to speak out against Senate Bill 749, a dangerous bill that would upend state and local elections administration, deadlock elections functions, and jeopardize basic voting options.
Senate Bill 749 had been scheduled to be taken up that same day by the NC House Rules Committee, but was pulled from the committee’s calendar. Republican legislative leaders say they will still try to take up the bill next week, even as protests mount.
Here’s a closer look at Senate Bill 749:
- SB749 would change the makeup of the NC State Board of Elections to a deadlocked eight-member board appointed by lawmakers.
- SB749 would change the makeup of all 100 county boards of elections to a deadlocked four-member board appointed by lawmakers.
- SB749 deadlocked boards would potentially lead to drastic cuts to Early Voting. Because county boards must provide approval for one-stop early voting sites, it is much more likely that an evenly-partisan board will come to a tie on these decisions. Because there is no tiebreaker mechanism in the bill, deadlock boards would mean only one early voting location in each county with limited hours would be available for the most popular form of voting in North Carolina.
- SB749 gives lawmakers even more authority over our elections. This bill could allow the legislature to also select the State Board of Elections board chair and/or executive director, giving them almost total control over our elections.
- SB749 brazenly defies the will of voters. In 2018, North Carolina voters emphatically REJECTED another attempt by legislators to radically alter our State Board of Elections. By a wide margin of 61% – 38%, voters soundly defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to change the elections board. Lawmakers should respect that clear result and stop trying to meddle with the board of elections.