2019 vetoed bill over NC jurors and voting back up in House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — House Republicans resurrected a proposal Wednesday to keep more non-U.S. citizens off North Carolina’s voter rolls through juror information -- a plan they say would help curb voter fraud but critics contend could lead to voter intimidation.
The House Elections and Campaign Finance Committee voted along party lines for the bill, which tells North Carolina courts to send information to elected officials about potential jurors being disqualified because they aren’t citizens.
Election workers would then figure out whether the disqualified jurors are registered voters and prepare to remove them from the rolls. The voter could formally challenge such action through the elections board in their home county.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a 2019 bill that contained the same language. He said at the time the bill would increase the risk that legitimate citizens would be denied the right to vote due to bad jury-excusal information. GOP legislators have said identifying these jurors for election officials is a common-sense method to ensure only citizens are voting. This year’s measure was scheduled for a full House vote on Thursday.
Federal prosecutors in eastern North Carolina filed charges from 2018 to 2021 against more than 30 non-U.S. citizens accused of unlawfully voting in the 2016 election or falsely claiming citizenship to register to vote.
The bill also states that all voting machines and machine software approved for use by the State Board of Elections must be “manufactured in the United States of America by a company organized and doing business” in the country.
The dominant manufacturer of voting machines for North Carolina counties is Election Systems & Software, based in Omaha, Nebraska. The made-in-the-USA provision would apply to future purchases of voting machines.