North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday that he would veto the sweeping Republican election bill This would end the exemption period for voting by mail and create new perks for partisan election observers.
one in video messageThe Democratic governor accused legislative Republicans of using their meager veto-proof majority to launch an “all-out assault on voting rights” that he said had nothing to do with election security and would hurt his party. Nothing to do with having and getting. Power. He said the measure would make voting more difficult for young and non-white voters, who are more likely to vote absentee and less likely to choose Republicans.
“They’re making it difficult for you to vote, hoping you won’t bother,” he said, urging North Carolinians to contact their representatives and demand that their veto be upheld.
Cooper, who has term limits and cannot seek re-election in 2024, successfully blocked several components of the bill during previous sessions. But Republicans now have the narrow three-fifths majority needed to override his veto.
Senator Warren Daniels, a Burke County Republican and chairman of the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee, said that by overriding Cooper’s veto, Republicans would guarantee every citizen the right to vote with confidence in the state’s election security.
“We are building a secure election system that makes it easy to vote and protects the integrity of elections,” Warren said. “But Governor Cooper wants his elected supporters to run our elections and clearly feels threatened by what North Carolinians see at their polling places.”
The governor’s announcement comes as both major parties are consolidating their forces in the Tar Heel State, which is expected to be a presidential battleground state and home to one of the country’s most competitive gubernatorial races. Most of the proposed election changes would take effect in early 2024, before the state holds elections for president, governor, Congress, General Assembly and other state and local offices.
North Carolina’s 7.3 million registered voters will already have to meet new voter ID requirements beginning with local elections this autumn, following an order from the Republican-controlled state Supreme Court. Upheld a 2018 law in April.
The new bill, passed last week along party lines, would repeal a state law that allows election officials to count absentee ballots received by mail up to three days after an election if they are postmarked by Election Day. A previously vetoed proposal in the bill would require those ballots to be returned to county elections offices by the time in-person voting ends at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.
across the country, Republican-controlled legislatures have taken action against early voting , minimize windows to return, ban or limit postal ballots use drop box And criminalizing third party ballot collection,
Other previously vetoed provisions would restrict officers accepting private money Conducting elections and directing state courts to notify election officials about disqualification of potential jurors because they are not U.S. citizens, so that they can be removed from voter rolls.
New guidelines for partisan election observers will allow them to move freely around a polling place instead of being confined to a certain area.
Republicans say the changes are needed to improve efficiency and restore confidence in the state’s electoral process. But Democrats argue that the changes would make it more difficult for minority groups to vote and could increase fear in the polls.
Attorney General Josh Stein, the only major Democrat running for governor in 2024, criticized Republicans for creating “obstacles at the ballot box” and said state leaders should do their part to make it easier, not harder, for eligible people. Everything in your power should be done. Voters should be listened to.
The offices of Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore did not respond to emails seeking comment Thursday on the veto declaration.
Cooper also vowed to veto Thursday another election bill once it reaches his desk. The proposal, which has languished in the House since it was approved by the Senate in June, would move Appointing power for State Election Board From Governor to MLA leader.