NC lawmakers call for safeguarding voting rights, enacting pro-democracy reforms
A group of North Carolina lawmakers held a press conference today to discuss two important bills to protect voting rights and enact pro-democracy reforms for our state.
“When people participate in democracy, voters win. That’s what we want,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC, in praising the two pro-democracy measures. “We want laws that make voting easier, not harder. We want laws that promote fair maps, not gerrymandering.”
House Bill 446 (Safeguarding Voting Rights) includes provisions for making it easier to register to vote, bolstering early voting, making absentee voting by mail more accessible, helping county boards of elections to recruit poll workers and making Election Day a state holiday.
The bill’s primary sponsors are Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham), Rep. Allison Dahle (D-Wake), Rep. Kandie Smith (D-Pitt) and Rep. Amos Quick (D-Guilford).
House Bill 542 (Fix Our Democracy), another pro-democracy proposal, would end gerrymandering by establishing a citizens redistricting commission, as well as strengthen the independence of North Carolina’s courts by re-establishing nonpartisan judicial elections and public financing of judicial campaigns, limit the influence of super PACs, increase voting access and boost transparency in the legislature.
That bill’s primary sponsors are Rep. Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford), Rep. Shelly Willingham (D-Edgecombe, Martin), Rep. Brian Farkas (D-Pitt) and Rep. Cynthia Ball (D-Wake).
“The lawmakers sponsoring these bills are true champions of democracy,” Phillips said. “This is a moment for North Carolina – do we want to promote voting, or do we want to suppress it? We want to promote voting, we want to make sure that everyone has a chance to participate. I would urge the legislative leadership to support these bills.”