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North Carolina Sends Citizens-Only Voting Amendment To Voters For Approval

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North Carolina’s GOP-controlled General Assembly passed a constitutional amendment proposal on Thursday affirming only U.S. citizens can vote in elections.

HB 1074 stipulates that “only a citizen of the United States” who is 18 years old and meets existing voter eligibility requirements may vote in elections held in the Tar Heel State. The measure passed the House (99-12) and Senate (40-4) with the support required to be sent to voters for consideration and will appear on North Carolina’s November ballot.

If approved by voters, the amendment will be enshrined in the state’s constitution.

“It’s only fair to the citizens of this state that we ensure that only citizens are allowed to vote in this state, and this bill gives them the opportunity to decide that for themselves,” Republican Sen. Buck Newton reportedly said.

A companion bill (SB 630) containing a citizens-only voting amendment was also considered by the Senate. The final version of the measure contained constitutional amendment proposals seeking to require voter ID for all forms of voting and cap the state income tax at 5 percent. This would strengthen existing state constitutional requirements mandating electors present ID when voting in person by expanding that requirement to include mail-in voting.

Laws requiring voter ID in North Carolina elections were passed in 2018 and 2019 and took effect last year following years-long court challenges.

With HB 1074’s passage, the Senate amended SB 630 to strip out the citizens-only amendment from the measure prior to its approval on Thursday. The bill did not, however, receive a vote in the House before the General Assembly adjourned for the foreseeable future.

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, a Republican, reportedly indicated “there’s a chance lawmakers could try to come back in late July or early August to try approving those amendments once more,” according to local media. House Speaker Tim Moore, also a Republican, appeared less certain, saying such a vote from the assembly in that time frame is “possible” but that “the main amendment that we wanted to see pass was the non-citizen voting.”

HB 1074’s passage makes North Carolina one of several states in which electors will vote on a citizens-only constitutional amendment proposal this November. Lawmakers in Wisconsin, IowaKentucky, South Carolina, and Idaho have successfully advanced such measures in recent months.


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