Defending Democracy: Cooper Vetoes Voter Suppression Bill

This voter suppression bill is the “jumbo jet.”

In the name of “election integrity,” the NC General Assembly has passed a package of election changes designed to make voting more cumbersome, and the work of local election officials harder. Subsequently, Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed Senate Bill 747, the “jumbo jet of voter suppression.”

“This legislation has nothing to do with election security and everything to do with Republicans keeping and gaining power,” said Governor Cooper. “It requires valid votes to be tossed out unnecessarily, schemes to restrict early voting and absentee ballots, encourages voter intimidation and attempts to give Republican legislators the authority to decide contested election results.”

The specific changes in SB 747 include the following:

  • The time for acceptance of mail-in absentee ballots is shortened from three days after the election to 7:30 p.m. on election day, likely disenfranchising thousands of voters who mailed their ballots in a timely manner, but faced delays in postal delivery outside their control.
  • It creates an unreliable and unworkable “signature match” requirement in some counties.
  • It expands the minor technical flaws for throwing out absentee ballots.
  • It increases the opportunity for partisan election observers to roam inside polling places, increasing discomfort and intimidation of voters.
  • It increases the costs of early voting to counties, without providing more funding, creating an incentive for counties to reduce the number of available early polling places.

“Senate Bill 747 is filled with a number of bad ideas that would undermine North Carolinians’ freedom to vote,” said Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina. “We applaud Governor Cooper for vetoing this unnecessary and damaging bill. We call on the legislature to uphold this veto and stop attacking our voting rights.”

In a lengthy letter laying out support for the veto, 27 organizations including the ACLU of North Carolina, Common Cause North Carolina, NC Voters for Clean Elections, and the NAACP North Carolina, said allowing partisan observers to listen to voters’ conversations with poll workers “crosses the line into an opportunity for voter intimidation and suppression, reminiscent of Reconstruction-era tactics by the Ku Klux Klan.”

Republican legislative leaders will now seek to override Cooper’s veto, while supporters of voting rights work to bring pressure on legislators to uphold the veto.

Stand up for voting rights and tell your representatives to uphold Cooper’s veto of SB 747.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Privacy Policy

environmental justice

Join the Fight

Help us fight for fair maps, free elections, clean air, clean water, and clean energy for every North Carolinian!

legislative battlegrounds on climate

Stay Informed

Keep up to date on the latest environmental and political news. Become an email insider.