Democracy North Carolina put together a one-page report that summarizes HB-589, the bill the General Assembly passed in late July despite the mass demonstrations outside the capitol that came to be known as Moral Mondays.
The group is calling it the Monster Law. Take a look for yourself. It lives up to its name, putting up as many barriers to prevent North Carolinians from exercising their freedom to vote as it tears down so big money can stay secret.
Listed below are some of the more egregious components of the law. My pick? Eliminating teenage pre-registration and with it Citizens Awareness Month and registration drives in high schools that were once required.
Download the full summary here.
PHOTO ID REQUIREMENT – Effective Jan. 2016
Starting in Jan. 2014, poll officials will ask voters for a photo ID but no photo ID is required to vote until Jan. 2016. The ID must bear a “reasonable resemblance” to you (poll officials must all agree it’s not you for the ID to fail). It must be one of these:
-- NC drivers license, learner’s permit or provisional license. NC special identification card for non-drivers.
-- US passport.
-- US military ID or Veterans ID card.
-- Enrollment card from a federally or NC recognized tribe.
-- Out-of-state driver’s license but only for 90 days after the voter registers in North Carolina. No student IDs are accepted.
The ID must not be expired, except for a voter over age 70 whose ID was current on their 70th birthday. The military and veterans IDs do not need an expiration date, but other IDs do.
Voters can cast a provisional ballot, but it will only count if they bring an acceptable ID to the county board of elections by noon of the day before the election canvass.
Voters are exempt (1) who swear they have a religious objection to being photographed or (2) who use curbside voting because of their age or physical disability. Instead of a photo, these voters may show a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document with name and current address.
NO SAME-DAY REGISTRATION – Effective Jan. 2014 Voters must register at least 25 days before the election. Registered voters may still update their name and address on their voter registration at an Early Voting site.
MORE CHALLENGES OF VOTERS – Effective Jan. 2014
Any NC voter can challenge a voter as not being registered or violating another rule. On Election Day, a challenger must be from the voter’s county. The old law said any challenger must be from the voter’s precinct. These changes open the door to mass challenges and vigilantes causing trouble at the polls.
MORE SECRET MONEY IN ELECTIONS – Effective Jan. 2014 Because of changes in disclosure rules, outside groups may spend unlimited amounts on nasty ads against a candidate or on other “electioneering” expenses, using money from virtually any source, from the May primary to Sept. 7 of the election year, without revealing the source or amounts to the public or State Board of Elections. Mystery money from corporations or other sources may also be spent on election- eering in odd-number years against candidates.
Even for the period when disclosure is required, the public will get less information: The new law ends a requirement that print ads and mailers by outside groups include a list of the top five donors financing the ad.