The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] VIVA/Election reform. House Bill 589. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brunstetter for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We seem to have everything but Senator Rucho now. Can we stand at ease at our desk for a moment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? Anybody seen Senator Rucho. Senator Rucho. Senator Rucho, you ready with your amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Send your amendment forth. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment is forward and sorry, it should be on the dashboard. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is it on the dashboard madam clerk? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho moves to amend the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho has the floor to explain his amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I think everyone has it before. We shared it earlier with Senator Nesbitt and Senator Stein and other members and what it does in this amendment is one it reestablishes the criteria per request of the Cherokee as far as their ID is concerned complying with the law. It has a couple of technical clarifications requested by the Wake County Board of Elections. There was a change we discussed with Senator Stein, the formula we used yesterday on that bi-partisan amendment dealing with a number of hours has been clarified and I think is now clearly delineated and will be better understood by the boards of elections. There is also a provision, some boards had asked us. We are holding 2012 hours or 2010 hours based on which day election is and that might be more than we actually need so we offered them an opportunity to change the number of hours by a unanimous decision of every member of the local or county board. Once that is done, a request to the state board for full approval by the majority of the….excuse me, full unanimous approval by the state board of elections. There was a change in the issue of how the check off funds were utilized. As you all know, the check off funds are there, but the money comes from the state general fund to the different parties. We are eliminating that, but we thought there was a commitment made since an amount is due on August of 2013 and that means half of that money goes to the parties based on a pro-rata share. We decided the best thing to do was to live up to our obligation and let half that money go and be paid as of August 2013 and then the remainder of it, once this fund is eliminated, will go into the general fund and there’s no guarantee, but there’s a good possibility that some of that money could be utilized for the presidential preference primary. Mr. Chairman, I’ll respond to any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Nesbitt for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if the gentleman will yield to a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I apologize to you for not raising this earlier, but I just realized what we were doing here on this last one about the tax check off money? Isn’t that money that people checked off out of their money? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s not how the - I’ll answer that question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’s not like you and I when we check it off. It’s not our money or our preference, what that is, is that money belongs and it goes in to just say the state will spend this much money towards the parties on a pro-rata share, so it’s not a direct link. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If he would yield another question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The question that I’m asking is though, when they check off, they aren’t saying give some of my state dollars to somebody else.
?? giving some of my personal dollars to this fund. SPEAKER CHANGES: No sir what they're saying by checkoff is I would not want you to use this much tax dollars out of the general fund to do that. SPEAKER CHANGES: ?? Alright thank you. SPEAKER CHANGES: Ok. SPEAKER CHANGES: Further discussion further debate on amendment eleven. Here none question before the Senate. SPEAKER CHANGES: Mister president... SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator Bryant for what purpose do you rise? SPEAKER CHANGES: You a little quick to trigger. I didn't know I was gon'...I don't want...Mister.. SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator Bryant what purpose do you rise? SPEAKER CHANGES: Yeah yeah I wanted to ask a president mister president sorry. SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator ?? Senator Bryant? SPEAKER CHANGES: No Senator Stein. SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator Stein do you yield? SPEAKER CHANGES: I yield. SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator Stein I don't understand this amendment. I'm trying to read it this is my first time seeing it. I see that they'll be accumulative number you look at the total number of hours during the two thousand twelve primary. In general elections and then it says something about during a presidential year you would offer the same amount but then it says something in two thousand ten and during the presidential year...I just don't understand it. Can you help me...can you explain it? SPEAKER CHANGES: ?? please SPEAKER CHANGES: Thank you. What the language does is it sets a baseline minimum for the number of hours of early voting that's going to be required and it sets two standards because the turnout is so different in an off year election from a presidential year so it sets the standard for the off year and then the minimum however many hours cumulatively sites were open early and twenty ten and that's what you'll have in twenty fourteen and twenty sixteen. The countys can clearly offer more and as population grows I surely hope that they offer more 'cause not only are their more people but more people are choosing to vote early and so as the trend they need to keep opening up more sites. The same thing on the president. For presidential years it said there was a baseline minimum twenty twelve which was a big turnout year in North Carolina so it says however many hours there were early voting sites over seventeen days you have to have the same number of hours over ten days. SPEAKER CHANGES: Follow up mister president. SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator Stein do you yield? SPEAKER CHANGES: I yield. SPEAKER CHANGES: Why does it repeat this language because it's hard for me to compare and correlate to the original bill at this point, this quickly. Why does it repeat the language about the presidential candidate in both of those subsections that what is confusing to me. SPEAKER CHANGES: Twenty ?? SPEAKER CHANGES: In the twenty twelve section it talks about the presidential election. SPEAKER CHANGES: The... SPEAKER CHANGES: Then in the twenty ten section it talks about the presidential election. Why would it do that? It talks about elections including the presidential candidate in both subsections. I'm sure that wiser minds can answer that but...like do you...I'm sorry mister chair I'm just following up ?? SPEAKER CHANGES: Just give him a second Senator. I think he's trying to find your answer. SPEAKER CHANGES: Not having been the author on these words on this page... SPEAKER CHANGES: Sure take your time Senator Stein...no problem. SPEAKER CHANGES: I'm not sure...I mean I think...If I can mister Tripp join me I'd appreciate that. SPEAKER CHANGES: That'd be fine. SPEAKER CHANGES: We'll stand at ease just a second let them get the info. SPEAKER CHANGES: Thank you mister president. SPEAKER CHANGES: Thank you. SPEAKER CHANGES: Mister president. SPEAKER CHANGES: Yes m'aam? SPEAKER CHANGES: Rucho ask me to repeat the question. SPEAKER CHANGES: Yes Senator go ahead and repeat the question. SPEAKER CHANGES: The question is that on page one in the section regarding the formula the cumalative hours, on page one in lines twenty seven through thirty two it talks about for elections which included presidential candidate they shall ensure that at least the same number of hours is offered for absentee ballots. And then when you go to page two where you talk about the cumalitive number of hours during two thousand ten it still says lines five or so down for elections which include a presidential candidate the county should ensure that at least the same number of hours offered in two thousand and twelve...do we need to say that twice or is it something I'm missing? SPEAKER CHANGES: ?? Senator Stein are you ready for the answer. SPEAKER CHANGES: I am SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator Stein has the floor. SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator Bryant is correct in there needs to be a perfecting amendment which I understand Senator Rucho will be working on. SPEAKER CHANGES: Okie dokie let's stand at ease a moment.
Members has come back to order. The corrected amendment has been placed on the dashboard. We are still on Amendment Number 11 as corrected, further discussion or debate on Amendment 11. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. President, if we could just have a few minutes for it to… [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant. [SPEAKER CHANGES] …do its thing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, ma’am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I mean I don’t have it on my thing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have it now, Senator Bryant. Do you have it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No, I just got a circle turning and a white screen, circles turning. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Still turning, Senator Ford? Do you have it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m trying to read, I’m doing the best I can do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, can someone who’s, somebody, can we have the amendment explained? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, would you explain your amendment, the change you made in the amendment please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, I will sir, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It reads for elections which do not, that’s the part you want to clarify. For elections which, it should have said, do not include presidential candidates, that’s why we go and the county ?? at least the same number of hours offered in the 2010 which was a non-presidential year number. So therefore it ends offers that ?? ballots and so forth so that clarifies your concern. Correct? Thank you Mr. President [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate.
On Amendment 11 for House Bill 589. ?? question for the Senate is Amendment to House Bill 589 Amendment 11. All those in favor vote aye, all those opposed vote no. You have five seconds for the vote, the clerk will record the vote. Senator Woodard, ?? aye? OK. Amendment 11 passes by 46 in favor, zero in the negative. House Bill 589 as amended is back before the body. Further discussion or debate? Senator Blue, what purpose do you rise for? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Will Senator Rucho yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, so that I clearly understand this, if I could call your attention to the actual version seven of the bill, page 50 lines 20-21. Relate to corporate money to political parties. In looking at that, under the current law, you can actually take corporate money for buildings. Am I correct that this changes it so that you can also take corporate money to provide for personnel as well as operating expenses for parties? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sir, our understanding on that is, that what we’re saying, and primarily because of the fact that by eliminating the check off money we’re trying to not injure any groups. So what we’re saying is that you can use the money that you described for building funds and/or nonpolitical activities. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But this is allowing corporate money to be used in a way that is now currently not allowed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, OK. Corporate money was always allowed to be used in building funds, but now it does allow it to be for other nonpolitical activities. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up? Senator Rucho, follow-up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As I understand it, actually you can use corporate money directly to hire up to three people in the campaign or in the party headquarters. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Primarily nonpolitical, but yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Another question, Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] On page 52, lines…I think it’s page 52. It’s page 53, lines 5-50…Page 53, line 5 through page 53 line 24. That has to do with the electioneering communication period? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. What that is is the dates for when the electioneering communication window starts. Rather than trying to go back and say, “Well look it’s 60 days,” what we’re trying to do is make it simple and say from that day forward. That’s what it means. There’s a lot of confusion by having people subtract from a number. So we’re trying to lay it out there so that no one can potentially get into some problems. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up, Senator Rucho? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is it fair to say that when you choose the specific date, I think here it’s September 15th, you actually enlarge the amount of black out time? That is when you don’t have to have an accounting of contributions or expenditures? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue, we picked September 15th as the day. You can pick any day you want on that one. But what we were trying to do is have a definitive date to say that’s when that next cycle begins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] A follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, a follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Logically then, September 1st would be as good a date as September 15th? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] OK. One other area I’d like to ask you a question about if I may, Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The provision on page 54, line 50, relating again to independent expenses…
And electioneering communications. That eliminates the requirement that the top five contributors be disclosed, or top five donors be disclosed, does it not? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No sir, not completely. Because it just doesn’t require it to be on the media. They are still available and documented accordingly. It’s just not on the piece of media. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, Senator Rucho. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But if you pair that with the last question I just asked you about, the electioneering period change, doesn’t it create a period in the Summer that is from the end of the primary until the beginning of the next electioneering period, which in this case would be September 15th, that there is no tracking and there is no direct reporting of either funding or expenditures against a candidate? A ?? candidate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. Our understanding and what we believe is the independent expenditure committee will have to still make a disclosure, and that same information will be readily available. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As I understand it, Part 48 which is candidate specific communication, that’s on page 51, that is a section that requires that during a certain period that you list people who give you a certain, give you over a certain amount of money. So for example, so that you could know who is spending $10,000 against you, during the summer lull. Is that not what that section does? It repeals the current ability to know who’s spending against you between those periods. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My understanding is that the, we’re repealing that because that information is superfluous for independent expenditure committees, both political committees and independent expenditure committees, so I don’t see that being a problem or any type of contradiction. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Last follow up, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do, so you’re saying it’s not your intention to create a dead period, that is between the primary and until the next electioneering cycle begins. Electioneering communication begins. So that somebody could spend an unlimited amount of money, anybody, no restriction on the source, could spend an unlimited amount of money against you and you not know who it is that’s spending the money against you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. Senator Blue, that was not the intention and if it is, and if it does, we’re not sure we see it that way. But if there is, we surely would be delighted to sit with you and talk, if you have a solution to what your concern is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to send forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Send forth your amendment. [PAUSE] Senator Blue sends forth his amendment. Read the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue moves to amend the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Everybody have it on the dashboard? Senator Blue is recognized to explain his amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I’ll start in reverse order. I asked Senator Rucho about the changes in the independent expenditures and electioneering communication, and the disclosures that are required. I’ve been informed that if in fact we leave it as it is in the current bill, that from the end of the primary period, until in this case it would be the middle of September, that there could be a barrage of spending against you and this applies to all of us regardless of what party you may belong to, a barrage of spending against you, unlimited, no restriction on the source, and you wouldn’t know who is laying all of this stuff on you.
And so this amendment would basically return the law to its current form so that there would still be a requirement that people who contribute up to these amounts. It's generally your top five contributors or expenditures would in fact have to disclose it and you would know who's spending money against you, I think those who've been in competitive races would be best served by knowing who it is that's aiming at you and who's starting to spend huge amounts of money against you and it would be helpful to know that before your sixty days from the actual election. That's the third part of the amendment. The second part of the amendment would basically take us back to the electioneering communication period. Senator Rucho said it wouldn't matter if it was September 1st and I agree. I think that the earlier you do it the better off we are. The current rule changes it to September 15th, I think the general practice is now it happens somewhere around September 7th but we're shortening the period and what concerns me is when you shorten, you lengthen the period rather, that somebody can spend between the primary and when the electioneering communications kicks in again that you make yourself vulnerable, not that you make yourself vulnerable but you make candidates vulnerable, unreasonable. So in the last portion of that is simply saying that corporate contributions can be used to build buildings for headquarters but it would restore it so that it can't be used for operating funds. The bill as it is before you would allow direct corporate contributions to be used for three employees in the headquarters for operating funds, for supplies, for all other things relating to operations rather than capital projects. And lastly it does have a provision too that says if you really want to sling something at a candidate and you're a candidate you gotta let folk know who you are you gotta stand by your ad. If you want to say bad things you ought to be willing to let folk know that your the one who's sanctioning these bad things against other candidates. I vote for adoption of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would Senator Blue yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Surely. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue we had a chance to discuss this earlier where there are a couple of areas that we, you've got three parts to your amendment. We may feel that you have some validity on one part of it. Would you withdraw your amendment for the moment and have a chance to speak with us about it? Specifically on the one section that is the blackout time and then the others we're not too distressed over and I think you probably aren't bent out of shape over them either but would you be willing to withdraw your amendment and have a chance to speak with us on that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure I'm an accommodating fellow. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Based on the request from Senator Rucho I would temporarily withdraw the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. Senator Blue withdraws his amendment. Senator Stein what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister President and members of the Senate. The core value of America is freedom. The original immigrants who came to our shore came because they wanted to exercise their freedom of conscience. The sons and daughters of liberty who declared their independence from the crown. They did so because of a simple proposition, that to secure our inalienable rights governments are instituted among men driving their just powers from the consent of the governed. They risked everything for their right to vote for their government and we in the world are forever grateful. Voting is our most fundamental freedom. It is the basis of our representative democracy and much of our political history has been struggling over expanding that right to suffrage to more and more people. The post civil war 14th and 15th amendments, they guaranteed the right to vote to all men above the age of 21 including African-American. A right that they have for about a quarter of a century. Women achieved their hard earned right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. In the 1960's with both the 24th amendment, eliminating the poll tax and the voting rights act
Right to vote that existed on paper for African Americans became real. Finally in 1971 we guaranteed the Right to every young adult of age 18 or more. Yet even with all these developments, because of our states legacy of disenfranchisement and discrimination, North Carolina ranked among the worst states in civic participation throughout the entire 20th century. The general assembly addressed this deficiency with a number of reforms to remove obstacles and barriers to participation. We passed laws to allow absentee ballet voting for people who couldn’t be there on election day, and they have continually made that process easier. In 2010, I mean, in 2012, 218,000 people voted in North Carolina, Absentee. Early voting was enacted in 1997 providing more people more convenient times to cast there vote because some people were working on Tuesday. Last election, 2.5 million North Carolinians voted early. North Carolina enacted same day registration because they knew that some people weren’t registered and may not have it on the top of mind to register in advance before election day. In 2012, 100,000 people voted registering the same day. We as Legislator passed preregistration for 16 and 17 year olds so that they can preregister, and when they turned 18 they automatically got their card. 50,000 kids have preregistered so that they could participate in the democratic process. These reforms have benefited the people of North Carolina and here’s the fact, in 1988 only 45 percent of voting age adults cast a ballet for president. North Carolina ranked 48th in the nation in civic participation. Just 24 years later in 2012, 65 percent of the voting aged people in North Carolina voted for president, and now we’re ranked 11th in the nation in terms of peoples participation in choosing their government. Do I have to tell ya’ll that that is a good thing? When people vote they take greater ownership of their government. They become invested in their society. The more people who vote the greater legitimacy of that government. Because everybody has voted not one can complain that the government is not truly a representative of the people. To impinge on people’s right to vote, to limit their liberty is to undermine government, and it is wrong. Yet this bill does precisely that in a host of ways. It started out as a six section bill. On Monday night, we got it over night, it had grown in to a 60 page election bill monstrosity. Senator Nesbitt talked about the bill yesterday and he actually said something where I disagree. He said he couldn’t find a single provision that actually made it easier for people to vote. I went through the bill, counted about 20 provisions that affect peoples right to vote in measures large and small. I actually came up with one. Ya’ll make it easier for people to vote Absentee and that’s a good thing I supported. Every other provision in this bill has the effect of reducing peoples participation in choosing their government. The bill eliminates preregistration of young people. As I said, 50 thousand a year are doing this. The idea is that they has Civics class in highschool, they get excited about government, and they preregister. We want kids to take Civics but when 50,000 of them want to exercise and put into practice their Civic obligations, we’re saying to them, “You can’t do that anymore.” I asked Senator Rucho, “Why are we doing that to our young people?” His answer was that he and his son were confused by a letter they had received. I am sorry, but that is a sorry reason to keep young people from registering to vote. We gave you a chance to fix this yesterday, and you voted on party lines to eliminate preregistration, denying young people and easy opportunity in Civics class to become Civic Participants. The bill ends Same Day Registration. In the last election 100,000 people did this.
That is fantastic. You know why we instituted registration before the election, it was done by Democrats in the late nineteen hundreds to minimize the participation of African Americans in the election. By eliminating same-day registration, y'all are going back to that sorry old history that we should not embrace. It also hurts young people, because young people are the ones who as a cohort coming into the election process. So they go to a college town, and they can't pre-register. They're worrying about settling into their dorm rooms, not going to the county board of elections. We should help young people participate. The bill shortens early voting by a week. Nine hundred thousand people vote in that first week. Two and a half million vote early. We discussed this yesterday, and I think the amendment we passed, and perfected today, mitigates the damage, but it is still a bad idea. Because we had an amendment by Senator McKissick that would have ensured that on the Presidential general election let's keep it seventeen days. But y'all voted that down thereby creating problems, potential problems for election lines. Those problems are going to be dramatically expanded because y'all are taking away from the citizens of North Carolina their option to vote straight ticket. It is an option. Nobody has to vote straight ticket if they don't want. And yet the majority of the people of North Carolina including more than a million Republicans said that's an option I want to exercise. Two and a half million people vote straight ticket. If you estimate that it takes about 10 minutes more to complete the entire ballot rather than straight ticket, by the two and a half million people who vote straight ticket, divided by the sixty minutes in a hour, that's four-hundred and sixty thousand hours more collectively that will be spent in the polling booths as a result of this elimination of straight ticket option. You all are substituting your judgement for that of the people, and that is a convenience you should not deny the people of North Carolina. I asked Senator Rucho what analysis have you all done to analyze the impact on election administration by the combination of eliminating straight ticket, and shortening election period early vote. None. None. We will see what happens, and when there are long lines, that have the effect of deterring participation in the election, y'all own that. According to the state board of elections which crossed-checked it's database with DMV's, there are more than 300 thousand registered voters who do not have a driver's license. A hundred and thirty-eight thousand of them voted in the last election. Because of this bill, tens of thousand of North Carolinians who have participated in our election, likely will not. You're extreme version of voter ID means that people who have a drivers license, but have forgotten the driver's license when they go to vote, have to do one of two things, either they have to go home and come back, which if they do, a number of people wont make it back. Or, they have to vote that day, and then after the election then go to the courthouse to cast that ballot. That happened in Indiana, in an analysis that I saw of certain precincts, one out of thirty-two, one out of thirty-six of people who cast those provisional ballots ever made it back to the courthouse. Why if somebody goes to the trouble of casting a vote do we want to make it harder and create another barrier for them to actually get their vote to be counted. Senator Robinson offered an amendment that would have made it absolutely parallel, the same process for identifying who you are as an absentee voter, that's what we will put in place for in person voting. The number of instances of absentee fraud, it's something like a factor of seventeen more for absentee fraud than in-person fraud when the number of people who vote absentee is a miniscule percentage of those who vote in person. And yet, you all are making it easier to vote absentee, but making it harder for people to have their vote count. People who go to the polls to vote. That is wrong for the people of North Carolina.
Disproportionately affect certain people. It will disproportionately affect seniors. You make it more difficult to site satellite sites for disabled and the elderly. Seniors are less likely to have driver's licenses. The length of time that you're going to require everybody to vote will make it longer to vote and longer to wait in line, will have a disproportionate affect on seniors and the disabled. Young people. We're losing, eliminating same day registration. You are eliminating preregistration. Young people are less likely to have a driver's license, and you, unlike Georgia, which we spent a lot of time talking about yesterday, will not permit them to use their state issued college ID. They have an ID, but it's not good enough. No, we have to make you go to the DMV and get another document. We're trying to create a step and then a step and then a step knowing, you know, that at every step people will fall out of the process. That's not democracy. That is not freedom. You will disproportionately affect minorities. Minorities take advantage of early vote and in particular the first week of early vote more than the general population. They take advantage of same day registration like college students do more than the general population. They disproportionately don't have driver's licenses and the biggest instance where they do things disproportionately as Senator Bryant talked about yesterday was trade party voting. You wrap all of these election changes into one. In fact it was in today's Washington Post, the Department of Justice is readying their complaint to file against North Carolina when this gets enacted because of its impact on the participation of minorities in North Carolina in the electoral process and that is wrong. The only good news about this bill is that when congress revisits section 4, which the Supreme Court ordered them to do when they struck down the covered jurisdictions in Section 4 is you're giving them a poster child for what state, and not just 40 counties in North Carolina, the whole state of North Carolina will be subject to be Section 5 in the future. Why are you making it harder for seniors, young people and minorities to vote? Might it be because these folks disproportionately vote democratic? Might it be that? Yesterday Senator Tillman informed us how more people voted in Georgia in 2010 than they did in 2006 after the voter ID law went into effect in Georgia. What he didn't tell us was that in 2006 there was no senate race and it was an incumbent Governor running for reelection. In 2010 there was an open Governor seat and a US Senator seat. No one is saying that the changes you all are making are going to overwhelm or underwhelm what happens in the main, but in the margins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It will effect the outcome of elections. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Senator Stein will answer a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will be happy to when I'm finished with my remarks. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Continue Senator Stein. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I know you all love governing by anecdote, but I prefer a broader view. In states with voter ID there has been a resulting decline in the registered population of about 2%. In states with voter ID, Republicans have done better by about 1.2% than if they didn't have voter ID and Senator Graham gave us some quotes yesterday from some Republican officials in other states who were a little more frank in the way they spoke about election law changes than perhaps they should have been. They said it was going to deliver the state of Pennsylvania to Romney. It, of course, did not. I expect many of you, my colleagues, are sitting there thinking well, you know, frankly that might be true, but hey, the Democrats, they just made civic participation easier because it helped them in elections. My predecessors made these reforms because it is the right thing to do for the people of North Carolina to make it easier for them to participate in the political process. They did so even when it was to their electoral disadvantage. The one area where Republicans vote more than Democrats is absentee voting.
. . . you represent about 31% of the registered voters, but you are half of all absentee ballots cast. Democrats have repeatedly over the last 20 years made it easier and less onerous to cast an absentee ballot. Not because it was going to help you but because it was going to help the people. The people have a right to participate in this political process, a right that you are impinging. This last couple of weeks it has become clear as day that we have different agendas, different views for what is right for the state of North Carolina. Your budget cut education in order to finance tax breaks for the wealthiest one percent and corporations. You are pushing legislation -- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President -- [SPEAKER CHANGES] -- that will restrict a woman's right -- [SPEAKER CHANGES] ??, for purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] -- to [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask a question of the Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] State your question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What bill is Sen. Stein? talking about? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sen. Stein, I'm going to ask you to stay on this bill, not on others, please, thank you. Continue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am debating House Bill 589, which is about participating in the political process. If you all had self-confidence that your agenda was the right agenda for the state of North Carolina, then let's open the doors to the polling place to as many people possible as we can, and the people will ratify it. But if what you're doing is limiting who can vote in elections, then what you're telling me is that you don't have self-confidence. What you are doing is shameful, unAmerican, and shows clearly to every person in the state of North Carolina whose side you're on, and it's not theirs. I urge you to vote against this legislation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sen. ??, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We've got this bill which came to us purportedly because voter ID was necessary to prevent fraud. So what do we have? We have three pages about voter ID and 53 pages -- 53 pages -- about reducing access and subtracting options, making it harder for people to vote. Fifty-three pages: Early voting decreased even though 10 million people use it, and 75% of the voters used it and 86% of people approve of early voting. Straight-party voting eliminated. Same-day registration eliminated. Onerous requirements for those without driver's licenses or listed acceptable listed documents. Eliminating the opportunity of young people to register early. Not accepting university or college IDs. Repealing judicial public campaigns even though 14 of the appeals court judges asked you to keep it. Repealing your Stand By Your Ad for transparency. Impeding satellite sites. Fifty-three pages when all you said you wanted to do was prevent fraud through voter ID. So why didn't you just stick with the three pages of voter ID instead of making it harder for everybody in North Carolina to vote? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President -- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sen. McKissick, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the conference report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This bill greatly greatly concerns me and disappoints me. This bill really basically reverse decades of progressive legislation that we've had here in North Carolina that have increased voter participation. I spoke yesterday about the early vote period. It deeply concerns me that we're now decreasing it by a week. I respect the fact that we adopted Sen. Kline's, excuse me, Stein's amendment, but at the same time it doesn't solve the problem. There are 900,000 people that won’t be able to vote during that early vote period. And we look at the increase from 2008 and 2012. Two hundred thousand additional people were voting. We look at the fact that when it comes to early registration and being able to go there and vote the same day, same-day registration. Same-day registration's completely prohibited. We need to be able to encourage open people to get out there and vote during that early vote period with same day registration. We look at our students. We get them all -- [END]
All active involved in our schools through civic programs and other programs, through our DTA’s and parent organizations. Get them involved in student voting, and we encourage them at 16, 17 years old to go ahead and preregister. We’re stopping that. We want to use that opportunity. Use those classrooms as a tool to get them involved in a political process. We need to be encouraging all our high school students to be able to get preregistered to vote. If we look at the fact that now, once they get out of school they get out of school, they get student ID’s, they can’t use them to go out there and vote and prove who they are. That doesn’t make any sense to me. We need to make certain that we enhance their ability to participate in political process. There’s no straight-party ticket voting that’s being done away with. Right now, I guarantee the vast majority of people don’t know all the candidates running for public office. They may come out to vote for one or two particular candidates that they identify with. That they support. Maybe a Republican, maybe a Democrat. But what do they do? They identify with one of the parties. And they might vote that straight-party line. They don’t know all the down ballot candidates. Now we’re stopping them from doing so. That’s not a good idea. A lot of people need that additional guidance that can come from that identification with a party. That impacts all of us in North Carolina. And then the voter IDs’ them self. An unnecessary tool. An unnecessary obstacle that many people are now going to have to overcome. You can say, yeah they can go out and get a birth certificate and do it but now they got to make two trips and go out there and get that birth certificate. Now they gotta get that voter ID. It’s doing nothing but suppressing the vote. If we look at this bill in its totality all about suppressing the vote. Trying to make certain, that those who we may not want to see come out and vote do not have an opportunity to do so. And when I look at it in its totality, and I’d like to think that its design is to somehow to enhance integrity in this process. But I’m reminded of the fact that North Carolina is not really a red state or a blue state, we’re kind of a gray state. And I’m reminded of that fact that Obama went into this state by about 12, 13,000 votes back in’08 and he lost it by about 100,000 votes. But in 2012. And I’m also reminded by the fact that about 318,000 people that do not have IDs that are government issues that may be adversely impacted and not be able to vote. And I looked at all these measures in their totality, and I can’t help but wonder, if the goal is simply to maintain political power for those that are in power today. Not withstanding the fact that we’re stepping upon the constitutional rights of people, by not enabling and enhancing their ability to participate in this process, as opposed to decreasing that opportunity. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak briefly on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Stein reminded us that In Georgia, an off-year election the vote was not that much significant. If you’re going to compare off-years Senator, you oughta take off-year prior to off-year before. And the increase was 44% among minorities, 67% increase among Hispanics and 12% among whites. Then if you want to take the next year, which you conveniently forgot, 2012, you mentioned 2010 which was a national election. How about checking those results, and then you’ll have the whole picture. You gave us a partial picture, which you’re good at. But if all the Democratic talking points are the same, we’ve heard the same things and not anything different, that were suppressing votes. Folks, we’re trying to guarantee that your vote counts. And I don’t think there’s anything more important that we can do than make sure that my vote and your vote counts the way it was intended to count. No ?? I will not yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Stein what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to see if Senator Stein will yield to a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m going to yield just like you did Senator. When I finish. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d be happy to wait. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We’ve got a good bill. We’ve got a bill that ensures integrity to the voting place. It increases voter turnout, and it increases voter integrity and you keep bringing up voter ID as if it’s gonna suppress votes. The fact is it increases votes in nearly every state that’s done it. And I don’t know anyone, even minorities, that when they look at this thing and say, yes I oughta be able to identify myself if I’m going to vote. Even that polls in the positive for minorities. And about 80% of the other voters say we oughta have photo ID so you’ve got a lame argument there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Stein what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] See if Senator Tillman will yield to a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m gonna give you one chance.
They all have something to do with reforming the electoral process and by doing that the rules are going to be the same for everyone and we have set the rules in place. But if we voted for over 200 years on one day, and now we can't vote in a week, there is something wrong with that and if you don't think enough about voting until the elections comes up you haven't thought about the election much at all, and it doesn't mean that much to you. Its like saying I didn't register.We normally had to wait 30 days, and now you want to cram everyone there on election day and vote them and thats when you have all sorts of confusion and all identification has to be verified and thats what leads to confusion and thats what leads to potential fraud and were going to try to eliminate that. Thank you Senator, let me take care of a couple of housekeeping matters quickly. Number one senator Mclawren is back in chamber and I also believe you were here to vote on amendment number what was it 11 or 12.... it was 11, and I believe you voted I and you weren't recorded the machine wasn't on and we are going to recorded I ( 47-0 ) . Also just in time the nurse of the day here. Jenelle simpson from my hometown of Durham, welcome and thank you. Further discussion and or debate house bill 589. Senator Graham what purpose do you have today, ( speak to the Bib) Senator has the floor.... thank you Mr. president. On Yesterday I went home on after session and reflected on yesterdays debate and one thing that I realized that I know every senator here has a different background, different perspective, different viewpoints, different constinuents. And I realized that two senators can take a look at the same bill, read every word that is the same and interpret it differently. I stand here today and share my comments on this bill from my life experiences as a African American man from Charleston North Carolina. A mother who worked and was a domestic worker, working in the big houses in Calhoun street in Charleston, and from a father who was a truck driver. My perspective is going from the country as we would call it and listening to stories from my grandparents about their experience growing up as an African American in the south. Hearing stories from their perspective as doing something as simple as voting could be deadly. That is the perspective that I bring. I also bring the perspective of someone who is fascinated with history who loves to read and watch the old black and white films about World War 1 and 2 and Civil rights movement and other number of historical facts about the world. Particularly interested in African American History. So I stand here today with that perspective on this bill and this bill to me is not about election reform, it is not. Its really not about voter ID, if it was about voter ID, I might stomach it. But what its about is systematically creating artificial barriers for those who are .
Those who are students creating an artificial barriers impeding their right to vote. Senator Stein did a great, great job today outlining a whole series of reasons why this bill is bad and I agree with him. And from my perspective, when you eliminate straight party voting it disenfranchises African-American voters who customarily vote straight parties. There was a debate yesterday about vote for the man and not the party. You can do that today. You can walk into the voting booth, take as much time as allowed, and go down every race on the ballot and vote for the candidate of your choice. You can do that today, with all the change in the law. But to change this provision systematically disenfranchises Democrats and the African-American community. Early voting is wildly popular. Wildly popular. It has enhanced voter turnout in major urban areas throughout the state and in small towns and communities. But it has been very successful in the African-American community. Souls to the polls. Folks who work different shifts, not everyone has a job like I do with 8 to 5. Some folks work from 5 to midnight. All type of hours and the convenience of having a 2 week period to vote and cast a ballot is significant to them and important. African-Americans and students and those who have trouble getting to the polls use this time frame to exercise their constitutional right to vote. By eliminating it and shortening it, it disenfranchises those individuals and those particular groups. The pages in the room today, many are 15 and 16 year olds who are here because they care about their government and want to see their government in action. As Senator Stein said earlier that, no, no, no, they can come here and work, but they dare not pre-register to vote. Because somehow that’s a little bit too complicated for them and their parents. North Carolina has 16 outstanding public universities. Chapel Hill and East Carolina, UNC Greensboro, UNC Charlotte, ANT Winston-Salem State. They all have college IDs They may be different, but I’m pretty sure they all have a picture, they all have the student’s name, they all have the address of that student, and they all are a legitimate form of ID and should be used in this process. But you say no. Not only do we have fine public institutions, but we have flagship private institutions. Duke, Elon, Wake Forest. Johnson C. Smith, Bennett College for Women. They all have IDs. They all have pictures on them. They all are eligible to be used. But you say no. This disenfranchises students. College students and high school students. This bill is bad. This bill is not about voter identification or voter fraud or bringing integrity back to the voting booth
It's about limiting access, creating artificial barriers, disenfranchising minorities and the elderly and students, and providing a competetive advantage for the GOP. Shame on you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate, Senator Goolsby, what purpose do you ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One thing that was not discussed-- and I found an old article I wrote back about the beginning of the session-- and it was revealed to us in the press that there were eleven thousand voters that registered during the last election through a system paid for by the Obama campaign. They paid about twenty-five thousand dollars and they had the help of the Democrat appointee to the state Board of Elections who thankfully has since been replaced. Eleven thousand votes possibly came in through the people that registered through All Points. Let me tell you how this worked. People went online with their cel phone, their smartphone, or their computer, and they were able to take their finger and sign a voter registrartion card and mail it in. When these started showing up at the Board of Elections around counties-- a large number of them came in right after training-- and a number of the county Board of Election members called the state Board of Election and said, "What's going on? We got all these cards and they look like they were signed by exactly the same person." According to Mr. Bartlett and his counsel at the time, and only one member of the state Board of Elections-- the other four didn't know about it until about the time we found out about it-- after the election-- they were told, "oh no, you can take those." "But wait a minute, we just went through election training and we were told you can't take computer online registration in our state, there's a lot of problems with that and we dont know who these people are." "But it's ok. It's been approved." That's eleven thousand right there that we caught after the fact. How could that have been stopped? Well, it's something called photo voter ID, which 30 states have in the United States. Almost every other state here in the south has it. And the Democrats sure don't want it, and they're using the same talking points that were used in Georgia back in 2005: voter suppression, Jim Crow era, gonna reduce the vote. And we've seen from Georgia that it's not done that at all. And we've seen polls done by Elon College recently on how many North Carolinians think it's reasonable to have to show and ID when you go into the election booth. 72% of North Carolinians, over half the Democrats in our state polled, said they'd like it. And the people when they were polled, 97% of those stated they already had an acceptable form of ID. Now folks, those of you who were here last time, you remember when we passed this bill. We passed it. Went to Governor Perdue. What did she do? She vetoed it. And you guys remember, the same night, after she vetoed our bill she had a party at the governor's mansion. Guess what you had to have in order to go in: a photo ID. It's not a Constitutional right to see Beverly Perdue. It is a Constitutional right to vote. And to reasonably expect people to identify themselves is not ridiculous; it's reasonable. It's what the people agree on, and it's what we should do. And I just wonder why the other party is so against making sure that legal, authorized North Carolinians are voting. That's a question we should all ask. 'Cause they sure are fighting us awfully hard on what the large marjority of North Carolinians believe in. Think about it, folks-- what's reasonable, what do the people want, and why do all these Democrat polititians not want it? I wonder! I just wonder. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President and members of the Senate. Yesterday we heard [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh, speak on the bill, I'm sorry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yesterday we heard Senator Nesbitt say he couldn't find anything that would help encourage participation. Senator Stein went and scoured pages and found one. Well let me give you two more. Senator Tillman alluded to this idea. I've talked to people, I know you have as well. You talk to them on the campaign trail, you talk to them in your community, and you ask-- they say, "That's great, it's really nice to meet you, but I don't intend to vote." And you ask why and they say, "I don't think my vote's gonna count. Why should I spend the time doing it?" Well we increase...
Integrity of the election. When people say I've got an I.D. I go in it is who I say I am and the person in front of me and behind me and everywhere else the person voting is who it says it is. That gives them confidence. That gives them the encouragement to go and vote. I say you disenfranchise people by the discouragement of saying we have an electoral process that has a lack of integrity. I say that this encourages people to vote and we see the evidence in other states with photo id and it encourages people to vote. The second thing a term I'll call fractional disenfranchisement. What happens here is, I'll give you an example: every-time you have someone who votes fraudulently you diminish everybody else's vote who voted. You believe in one person one vote. A fraudulent vote makes your vote less than one person. I'll give you a small statistical example to illustrate the point. You have ten people voting. Each person has ten percent participation. If one person votes twice or fraudulently you go now eleven people that gives you a nine percent participation. Every fraudulent vote which we heard dismissively there was only forty or fifty that's kind of like blindfolding someone in a crowd then swinging their arms around and saying hey there's only five people in this crowd because that's all there is. That's what happens when you don't have an open process, when you don't have something to be able to look at and say here's how we have integrity in our electoral process. I say let's encourage people to vote with integrity with voter ID and I say let's every vote count because your not being fractionally disenfranchised with fraudulent votes. Thank You. [Speaker Changes] Senator Hise what purpose do you rise? [Speaker Changes] Speaker to the Bill [Speaker Changes] Senator has the floor [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr President member of the Senate. You know I have heard a lot from the minority party about how much they expanded early voting and how they allowed opportunities. I wanted to let you know that they did that within a period in which they also controlled all the election boards in the state. So I stand here and tell you about the counties I represent that out of the entire early voting time period had four hours of early voting that did not occur between nine am and five pm Monday through Friday. Did not occur during working hours as they systematically put it together and I will tell you that thanks to the changes in this bill and some to the amendment that came forward. Individuals working a full time job now will have for the first time the ability to early vote in my area because it's forcing them to look at hours outside of nine to five and the last Saturday of the election to put it forward. We've heard a lot about these straight ticket voting numbers. I just want everybody to know that, that encouraged, they are counting every individual who checks the party Republican or Democrat not excluding the individuals who still go through the rest of the ballot and mark every other election. Their counting anyone who marks within the party affiliation straight ticket voting. I think you will look and you will see most of the blue or yellow or red handouts that are given out at poll locations all over the state indicating a parties nominee encourages individuals to not only vote the party affiliation but vote each and every race that is coming forward that's what's handed out that's what's printed and given out. So of course a lot of individuals vote in that manner, a lot of people believe that it's asking which party their in. Those results exist for why people fill that out. It is not the extensive time change that is going to happen by not having people come in and just press a button. Cause you'll find most people just don't press a button. What I have looked for in this bill as far as election regulations is it is time we begin to add uniformity to the system across this state. That we are starting to move to a time that based on which county your in doesn't mean what access you have to the polls and I think we have done great steps in moving forward to make it more uniform across this state for how early voting exists and where early voting sites are in doing this and I continue to ask for your support. [Speaker Changes] Senator Blue what purpose do you rise? [Speaker Changes] To debate the bill [Speaker Changes] Senator has the floor [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr President ladies and gentlemen of the Senate. I's like to take a different approach to this bill. First I think all of you know and to some degree you subscribe to the voter ?? regardless of your religion the seven major religions in the world all have some version of it and I mention that to you because you learn
When you were young and it was sort of emphasized to me when I got to law school one of my property, real property law professors said, "You know the way you can tell whether and the way they go about doing things if you want to divide land or do anything else, he said you let them divide the land and then you let the people who are going to receive it including the one who is going to divide it transverse. That will keep them honest and keep them fair because you don't know which side you are going to end up on at any given time. And so I warn you about this kind of deal. Be careful of how you stack things because you don't know whether it's gonna be stacked against you. And if you were really interested and I think observing the fundamental I think the most fundamental of the fundamental rights in this country, and that is the right to vote. You would first set out by devising or creating a system that is absolutely fair. Wouldn't matter which side of the political spectrum you are on. It would be a system that if you were the last one to choose, you would still get a fair shot out of it. Now, this bill, and I don't think any of you can really argue it seriously, makes it harder for legal registered North Carolinian's, legally registered North Carolinian's, to vote. Now, I don't know what you are going to do when you come back and start changing the requirements for registration. You know we have a registration system that has evolved over time. And I say evolved because when I was in college the only way you could register was to go to the courthouse or a specific person at a designated time, had fixed registrars. Then we came up with the system of floating registrars, who could register people within their precinct. And they would get the ID's and they would register them. And then we came up with the system of floating registrars that could register people anywhere in the county. And we realized that if we truly believed in this democracy and full participation we needed to make it easier for folk to get registered. And so we eventually evolved to so that you could register with any ID and send in your registration. I don't know what you are going to do about having people legally registered. Are you going to require this same strenuous system of ID before they register? Because if you're not, you're creating a system of legally registered voters having greater difficulty to vote than is justified. Now, I say that it's the most fundamental of all of our basic constitutional rights. You know the interesting thing is North Carolina joined the union after eleven other states but after the Bill of Rights was ratified. And I believe that we still place importance on the Bill of Rights. And I believe in every single one of them, whether it's the second amendment, or whether it's the first amendment, fourth amendment or fifth amendment, Senator ??. But you know the interesting thing about it is that we make certain presumptions about these other fundamental rights in our constitution. We presume that you are innocent until proven guilty. Most famous quote, the most famous quote, by one of the most famous jurist in our country's history. Oliver Wendall Holmes says it's better for 99 men to go free than for 1 innocent man to be convicted. You know, we have a system that believes in these basic core fundamental rights. We believe in the first amendment, that you should publish anything you want to unless you come back and show by hard, empirical evidence that somebody is going to cause harm. You have fire in a crowded theater. But otherwise you can pretty much exercise your first amendment rights. Establishment, religion, speech, and all of the others. The presumption is that you're properly exercising that right. Here in the most fundamental of all of the rights you are adopting a presumption that everyone that wants to exercise it is somewhere whether crooked, or somebody who is looking to break the law. I ask you, what parent is going to spend twelve, fifteen thousand dollars, or more than that now probably, sending somebody to one of the state universities to get a false ID card? In fact, that ID card is probably more reliable than any of the other ID cards that you'd come up with, because people are paying so much to get it. Some schools you are spending fifty thousand dollars a year to get that ID card. If somebody is going to forge that card, what are they going to forge it for? To go into the cafeteria and
...to get a free meal? Are they going to forge it to go vote? They may as well forge a legitimate card that you got here. It's crazy to think that these forms of IDs are not legitimate. Let's get back to the fundamental issue. This bill, I believe, goes further toward undermining these fundamental rights and it's counter to what we are and who we are as North Carolinians. The amazing thing is is that we do adapt as North Carolininas. We adapted when you had to go all the way down to the courthouse regardless of where you lived to register. We adapted with all of the other impediments that have been imposed on voters - not just black voters. We've put impediments in the way of average, working people that we ought not have to do. It's convenient for people to vote at different times. It's convenient to assume that when you take your kids... Kids voting is one of the most popular things that happens here in Wake County. Where you take 10, 11, 8, 9 year old kids and show them what the process is. Many of us on a national level have been involved in the process of the democracy project and other things, where we get legislators to go into the classrooms to talk to people, to encourage them to participate. Some of you have done it over the years. If we encourage them, it makes sense that we encourage them to participate and believe in this democracy of ours and that what they do makes it stronger. I believe this bill undermines this democratic process and it flies in the face of the most basic, most basic of our fundamental values and that is government by the people. That means the more people who participate in government, the better that government is. That's why we want people to participate, not to cheat, not to do anything else in the presumption for it to be that those who participate are rightfully participating. The burden ought to be on the government to show that they've done it wrongly. If they've done it wrongly, let's do the same way that we do when somebody has used a firearm exercising their Second Amendment to buy, to own it. Let's punish the person, very severely, who uses it the wrong way, but don't take away the right. I hope you see how inconsistent this is with the way that we're dealing with our other fundamental rights. Now, one of the things that I'm concerned about, and that's why I was trying to amend some of these corporate positions out of this bill, because what we do is as much governed by perception as reality. Perception plays a big role in political leadership and in politics. People perceive that special interest. Big corporations, wealthy people have a special sway with elected officials. That's why many of these laws that we have have evolved the way that they have. When we put provisions in that makes it seems like government is going to the highest corporate bidder, that's what eliminates belief and faith and confidence in our government. That's what we should be concerned about, not just how it is but how it is perceived. I will tell you, when you start allowing additional contributions, corporate contributions, in any form, then you are letting people perceive that their government is open to the highest and wealthiest bidders. I want you to look around the globe. Just look around this earth of ours. Every day almost you see where somebody is moving toward freedom because that's the natural order of things. People overturned the government in Egypt again because they didn't like the suppression that was happening. Every day people are marching toward freedom. Who's the greatest example on the face of earth of what freedom is, and who has been for almost 200 years or longer and more so in the last 50 years? The United States of America. We are the model across the country for a participatory democracy. That's why it was so important to increase the number of people participating in the elections so that it wouldn't just be something that seemed, but something that is. Here we are, here we are now flying in the face of that in North Carolina, making it more difficult to participate in this democracy of ours, not giving the presumption of legitimacy to what we do with our most fundamental rights. I say to you that, and I've said before.
Their arrogance and ?? are what destroys great nations. It’ll destroy our great state if we think we got all the answers, and we think we know it all and not willing to listen at other opinions and other viewpoints because we know it all. It is the recipe for the beginning of the decline of this state and our democracy. I have you know that I’ve given you the benefit of the promises that you made because you’re my colleagues, and if you say that the major thing that we’re going to do is create jobs and expand opportunities then I take your word that that’s what we intended to do. But I will tell you, when you look at perception and you look at how people are talking about what happens down here, you have to take a moment to pause to think that you don’t believe that you’ve kept your promise, and somewhere of it you believe that you have to do something out of the ordinary to make people believe what you say. Let me remind you because nobody has mentioned it. You have absolute control of the election machinery. The Republican Party controls the election machinery in North Carolina. It’s designed that way. If you think that something is going wrong at pre-sanctioned polling places, you control all the judges, all of the judges, at polling places who can put an end to it. You control Registrars. You control every state board of elections. I mean every county board of elections. You control the state board of elections. They’re the ones who have expertise in the stuff and can tell you what ought to happen to make sure that it still has the integrity. What I want to believe, my friends, is that articles that I read and things that I hear aren’t necessarily so because as you get painted, so do all of us get painted. I’ll close my comments by sharing with you an editorial that many of you may have seen this morning because it has a bearing on how people perceive you’re behaving when you try to act, enact a bill like this, and it talks about pay cuts for teachers or cuts of teachers in the classroom. It talks about the tax breaks to the wealthy, and special corporations are getting special treatment. But then it says with these approaches to taxing and spending North Carolinians will be motivated to vote in 2014, but Republicans have a plan for that, too. Those are not my words. On Wednesday the General Assembly was on the verge of approving the strictest voter id requirements in the nation, and it didn’t even go on to talk about not just a voter id requirements. But these ways that you’re rolling back the evolution of voting rights in North Carolina and voting opportunity and opportunities to participate. Does not talk about the way that you’re rolling back and putting barriers to the election’s participatory process, but it says the requirements are supposed to protect the voting process, but they’re real intent is to protect Republican office holders. If there were any doubt Senate amendments to the House Voter Id Bill make it clear. In it delineates the way that you have not only dealt with voter id, but all of these other things that we’ve been talking about, that’s what we’ve been trying to tell you about. You know, you come to us. We could reach an agreement on an acceptable voter id bill. All of us want integrity in who votes. We could reach agreement on something like that, but these other things are things that have evolved to make this democracy be a richer, more meaningful and fuller democracy that gives great justification for our Bill of Rights, our Constitution and even our Declaration of Independence. So I say to you that I don’t want to believe necessarily what newspaper editors around the state are writing. I don’t know whether the Wall Street Journal will write one or not, Mr. President, but I do want to believe that as we go about this process that we have integrity, that we’re not taking steps to enshrine ourselves, to ensure that we stay in office, but that we’re taking steps to ensure that this democracy which we all profess to love so much gets strengthened over time, and it gets strengthened by ensuring that everybody, a hundred percent of eligible Americans or North Carolinians can participate. So I
[0:00:00.0] I hope that some of the amendments to come will improve this bill but I hope that when you take it the conference with the house after you passed here that you will consider some of these things to strengthen those bills so that you are strengthen our democracy. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator ___[00:21] forward the record, what was the editorial from please so put it in record. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Day of Thursday July 25th and it says I view scary ending as a lead editorial and the ___[00:36] news and observer this morning. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator, further discussion and debate, Senator Robinson what purpose you ask? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman, Mr. President and members of this body another hit land this morning and I can’t tell you where it came from Senator Apodaca I have to look for but it says what's the matter with North Carolina, the state has gone from a beckon of tolerance to abstain the voter suppression in one month and then it goes on to say that North Carolina is proving itself to be the poster ___[01:21] for all that is wrong with modern American democracy may the Senator Stam can hear me found that but I thought it was so point yet because North Carolina to me has been the place that we could see progress and we could expect progress because it did begin to value all of the citizens and what they could put in and I learn that as a student I had been at college, it wasn’t been at college for woman then but when I came to North Carolina in the mid 60s but then I also know the history and I wanna share with you the history of voting and most of you know it too because you know that in 1848 the Woman Suffrage Moment and it was black woman who actually propel the efforts of white women to get the right to vote because women at that time did not have the right to vote and men thought that they should be at home, taking care of their children and all of the other things and you all not to be allowed they are voting, there was some black women who came in who helped and later on it was black men that got the right to vote and they took to 1920 for women to get the right to vote. I say all of that because the history of voting has been something about struggle the whole turn and especially for African-Americans, the part of history says that in 1898 there was a voting during preconstruction era in North Carolina and you know that because we did have legislators here, we had African-Americans who were legislators but that was a smart white young lawyer who came from Northern side and he is black so he have a right to vote. So, you all need change this and so I started at Wilmington and they began to change that because they did not feel that people had the right to vote. So, the issues about suppression then went all the way from skin color to the ___[03:42] tax and literacy and all of the other issues we have heard about. But North Carolina has made tremendous progress and I had been proud of this state and you talk about Georgia well I’m from Georgia and I don’t know if anybody else in here is from Georgia but I don’t live there and I was proud to come to North Carolina in the 60s and I was proud to help to be a part of the changes that occur it. Registering people to vote and it wasn’t just black folks who were black and the white folks and everybody else who believe that folks had a right, they had a right to vote, a right to select the people to represent them. So, we work through and we began to do that and we got and where folks can vote and it became a society and always say to people they say, “Well, who has a different?” I said, “Because we respect education and the educational institutions, we propel them, we have supported and yes we may not be the highest in public education but we have worked on it.” And we worked on it… [0:04:53.6] [End of file…]
collectively to make sure children have opportunities and our universities are some of the best in the country and they’ve helped with that too. But now, what we see in the headlines is we’ve come full circle and we are dipping all the way back. You know, they say that when people are afraid they do strange things. Well, I don’t understand what you are afraid of because the redistricting process made sure that the districts were drawn in your favor and you can elect the people you want. So, what are you afraid of? What is the reason for voter suppression? Why not allow people to exercise their right to vote? Why make it difficult? Voting for us, for the people I represent, has been a struggle all of our lives, all the time. And it ought to be a time in which you don’t have to do that. If we have to fight for it, we’ll fight. But it ought not to be like that in this state and this country. It ought to be that everybody who wants to vote, and you know everybody doesn’t want to vote anyway, so I don’t know what you worried about other folk who don’t want to anyway. But the people who to vote, want to do it because they understand it is a constitutional right and it’s a responsibility. Voting is a responsibility. It says that I am responsible for electing people who represent me. I am responsible for the laws those people are going to make. I am responsible for what’s going to happen in my community, what’s going to happen at the state, and even at the national level and if I don’t like it, I can vote and change it. And people have done that and they will continue to do that, so I don’t understand your rationale and I think it’s probably no real rationale. It’s probably about power more than anything else, but whatever the rationale is, it ought to be that people are given a level playing field, are given whatever support it is, when elderly people need to able to come in on a walker and punch one button as opposed to twenty-five: that would send a person like my mother back home, or someone else, and people in my community even in Pleasant Guard asked about it the other day. Why do we have to do it? A lot of them are Republicans and they vote for you. But they are used to coming in there and pressing that one, one button. Why make it difficult for them to do that? You know, you’ve talked about we’ve decreased times that they can vote, all kinds of things against photo IDs when, when I was a student at Bennett, my photo ID was a good as anybody else’s in North Carolina. And yes, a lot of my constituents have been students sent to a private college, but they have valid college photo IDs. And it is a college recognized in the state producing some of the greatest women leaders like me. And so, we have plenty of those and it makes our state rich. Our colleges and our universities, our community colleges make our state rich. And they propel economic development, so these students should have the right to exercise their voting privileges. Elderly people should have the right without barriers. People of color, if they are registered voters, should have the right to exercise that. North Carolina is becoming a place, and I guess it’s your desire to add to whatever’s going on in the south. You talk about Georgia, well, I’m glad I don’t live in Georgia right now, but soon I’ll try to find somewhere else maybe, not really Senator Tillman, because North Carolina wants to be like the other southern states that denies opportunity for people. And North Carolina has not been like that. And I really think that there are some of you in here, who don’t really want North Carolina to be like that. You genuinely love the state like I do and you genuinely believe that people ought to have opportunities. But there is something that is almost dark in the air, very dark, that is turning the sunshine in this state from the mountains we talk about to the coast that makes this a beautiful state and a wonder
A state that people want to live in and want to come to. This whole issue of voter suppression is making it a state that folks, our students, will not want to come to. I don't understand what you're doing. You're going to do it, but I agree with Senator Blue. It may backfire on you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brock, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak, hopefully briefly, on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And also to help Senator Robinson. That article you wrote was by an online magazine called The Slate, by a Canadian, a left-leaning Canadian, just to let you know. And Senator Blue, talking about control, this bill will put the control back into the hands of the people. By quality. With extended hours that extend for voting for those that work third shift. Like my brother that, when the normal voting hours, especially under a Democrat regime, was during his night time, would wake up, go vote, to him in the middle of the night. My sister-in-law was a med tech in a hospital, also working those hours. She's a Democrat, but this helps her vote those extended hours. And looking at it, opening up the polling places across the counties in equal areas, not looking at it as targeting certain precincts that benefited the party that was in control of the Elections Board, which were the Democrats. And this will secure elections. Senator Blue, when you made a comment about cutting up some land and then letting the people look at it, Mama taught that to me and my brother when I was little. My brother was five years older. Where was the cookie? She asked Neil to cut the cookie and he did. One piece was bigger than the other. And I thought to myself oh boy, I get a piece of that cookie. My brother grabbed both pieces, put them in his mouth, and took off running. And that's exactly the safety and security this bill will bring. Because you said, well let things happen after the fact. Elections are on a schedule, on a timeline. And when you allow people to break the law, bend the rules, break the rules, Election Day comes and goes and it's over. What can you do try to go back? We saw the issues we had in Florida in 2000. And that's just not Florida. It happened in Chicago, many times. That decided the fate of the nation because of who was going to be president. They had the evidence. But Nixon decided not to challenge it, of what it would put the nation through. It happens in ?? County in ??, city councilman. Numerous people trying to break the rules for their own benefit. We are a beacon to all other countries in this world. The thing we have is to allow the people the chance to vote. It is our most sacred right we have as this nation to vote. How many people have died for this, to get that chance? How many Americans died on our own land? For that vote? Of all colors? Men and women, to get that chance. And whatever we can do to protect that from people that would subvert that for their own cause. It happens now, it happened in my own district. And it wasn't right. This will help protect the process. It's fair, it's equal, and I urge you to support the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is this the second time, Senator, I believe? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I haven't debated the bill. I asked a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I asked a couple questions. Thank you. I just want to make three points, members, not to try your patience. The first is in relation to straight-party voting. My precinct, I think, is number seven on this list of the top 100, and I have worked in GOTV since I was a teenager, and in my precinct and in the others and in the work in training I do, we never instruct people to mark, we never have it on our flyers or instruct people to mark the straight-party ticket and every candidate, because that can set them up for
?? you can easily mark something...a candidate of the other party. We encourage them to mark the straight party ticket. Only mark a candidate if you want to vote for a candidate of a different party. And then vote for the judges or the referendum or whatever else is on the ballot so we never instruct that people...in my fifty years of working and getting out the vote, the mark the straight party ticket and also every candidate so I just wanted to clarify in my area in Eastern North Carolina where I'm familiar with getting out the vote. Second thing I just wanted to respond to the notion that people who do same day registration somehow don't care enough about voting to have registered early to vote. Because in many instances people have are registered but they moved or there is some other situation that has their registration be out of date. And in my particular town where in rocky mount is in two countys, you can move a block away and be in another county and if you're busy and not paying attention you can easily then be in the wrong county when the time comes for you to vote. And our ability to change the address only applies if you are registered to vote, if you move within the same county. Not from another county and I run into so many people who have moved they're working two or three jobs. Got child care issues and didn't meet that registration deadline. Same day registration allowed them to vote so they care about voting it's just the things they do everyday in their life kept them from meeting that particular cut off date. And thirdly just to make the point that Senator Tillman referenced well we've been voting like this way for two hundred years on one day so what's wrong with it now well most of us are from groups and most of the people in the voting electric are from groups that haven't been voting for two hundred years. For some of us fifty years is about as long as we are from groups who have a history of voting and our electorate is to tremendously expanded and rightfully so if everyone is exercising they're right to vote so that is the reason we need of these multiple strategies for people to vote and just wanted to emphasize those three points. Thank you. SPEAKER CHANGES: Mister president. SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator Farm?? for what purpose do you rise? SPEAKER CHANGES: To speak on the bill. SPEAKER CHANGES: Senator has the floor. SPEAKER CHANGES: Thank you mister president I know it's getting late and we are all getting tired but it's some things unlike Fannie Lou Hamer I've been tired of and this is one of the things that I think we have to take time to debate and in two thousand and eight. I was the member of a North Carolina House. And one of the proudest moments in my legislative career was the passing of House bill ninety one. Which was then Senate bill one ninety five. Which was same day registration one stop voting I was one of the major sponsors of this of that bill. Today is one of the worst times in my legislative career as I see the passage of this bill that will dismantle that piece of legislation that created opportunities and increased the opportunities for citizen participation in the electoral process. And I heard Senator Brock talk about people fighting and dying for this right. And that's true. Many people gave a lot to ensure that we have a fundamental right as groups to vote. So today I know the rhetoric as some of you all may refer to it. Maybe to you rhetoric but what I want to say to you today is this is real. Voter suppression is a real issue. And it's at the heart of dismantling democracy in North Carolina. And I will say to you and I want you to aware that as we pass this bill today. That we're in the process of creating victims in the elderly. In our students and other minorities. colleagues I would submit to you and I'm gon' cut short what I was gonna say 'cause it's not gonna make an impact. But I want to remind you that this bill is so totally unneeded it's unnecessary...
?? is ungodly, and it's evil. And I reflect back on second Samuel's the twenty-third chapter, the second verse, and it says "He that rules over men, should rule justly," and this is not justice.Thank you. [Speaker Changes] Mr. President. [Speaker Changes] Senator Rabin,for what purpose do you rise? [Speaker Changes] I can't resist because I'd been listening for ?? [Speaker Changes] For what purpose do you rise? [Speaker Changes] I am going to speak on the bill. [Speaker Changes] Senator has the floor. Thank you. [Speaker Changes] Lots of personal opinions going on today. When I stand up and speak up in this chamber, you'd better believe I'm speaking for my constituency because that's the only voice that really should count here. The provisions that I see aren't really restrictive. Like I said yesterday, and we heard a lot today that we heard yesterday, anyhow, these are the things that protect my rights and the integrity of my vote. It's not in any way repressive at all. When we get the point even about, let's have no straight party voting, I think it's incumbent on each of us when we go to the poll to know who we are voting for and most importantly why. And unless you have that sort of a provision in there, I don't see how that works out very well. You know, we all have our perspective like I said before, and mine comes from considerably earlier where folks were supposed to take the initiative to go after what they want. I do not want a system, personally, when it comes to my vote, that models on what I think I've heard some people would like to have in here. And that's the model of the American Idol where everybody can just dial it up on the phone and vote for whoever they want to vote for or however they want to vote, and we can't count who's voting how many times. I think that this is a good bill. I support it. Everything that I've heard from my constituents supports it, and I certainly hope everyone in the room will vote for it. [Speaker Change] Senator Blue for what purpose do you rise? [Speaker Change] To send forth an amendment. [Speaker Change] Send forth your amendment please. ?? Court will read. Senator Blue moves to amend the bill. [Speaker Change] Thank you, Mr. President. Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, this amendment simply takes a fixed date of September 7 as opposed to September 15, when the electioneering communication kicks in, so you'd have to start reporting everything after that date. I move the adoption of the amendment. [Speaker Change] Senator Rucho why do you step forward? [Speaker Change] To debate amendment number thirteen. [Speaker Change] Senator has the floor. [Speaker Change] We thank Senator Blue for bringing forward an amendment and something that we think might improve the bill and we're glad to accommodate Senator Blue's point on the election communication window. And therefore, we urge you to vote for amendment thirteen. [Speaker Change] Thank you Senator. Further discussion or debate? Hearing none. The question before the senate is amendment thirteen to house bill five eighty nine. All those in favor will vote- Senator Woodard for what purpose do you rise? [Speaker Change] Speech of the Bills, President. [Speaker Change] We're on the amendments, Senator. [Speaker Change] Oh, sorry. [Speaker Change] Thank you. Ok. Question before us, amendment thirteen for house bill five eighty-nine. All those in favor of the amendment will vote 'Aye'. Any opposed will vote 'No'. There will be five seconds to vote on the amendment, the court will record the vote. Brunstetter - Aye Brown - Aye Davis - Aye Who did I miss? Me - Aye Forty-six in the affirmative, zero in the negative. Amendment thirteen passes, and - [Speaker Change] Mr. President? [Speaker Change] Senator Blue? [Speaker Change] To send forth the last part of the amendment that I have drawn, we just bifurcated it. [Speaker Change] Ok. Alright. Senator Blue, send forth your amendment. [Speaker Change] Thank you, Mr. President. [Speaker Change] Hang on one second, let the court read it in. [Speaker Change] Senator Blue moves to amend the bill. [Speaker Change] Senator Blue to explain the bill. [Speaker Change] Thank you Mr. President, and thank you Senator Rucho for the previous amendment. What I'm trying to do, ladies and gentlemen, and the remainder of this amendment does it, I'm trying my best to get the
Corporate money out of campaigns. Two things remain in this amendment. One is it's still a requirement that if you want to talk trash about somebody in an ad you gotta get on the ad and say this ad is paid for and sponsored, or I support this ad. It doesn't let you hide behind somebody else. If you want to really to ?? of somebody, you need to be willing to stand up and admit that you called them whatever it is that you're calling them. That's the first thing it does. The second thing it does it still preserves the requirement that people who give big amounts to campaigns during the ?? period will still have to be disclosed. It's my interpretation that the law would make it so you don't have to disclose these corporate donors and others in this ?? period. And I just think that we want as much transparency and as much disclosure as possible in these political campaigns so I move the adoption of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brunstetter what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Move that amendment 14 do lie upon the table. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Second. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Second. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Second. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion to amendment 14 to lie upon the table have a second by Senator Brock. Motion presented by Senator Brunstetter. All those in favor for amendment 14 motion to lay upon the table will vote aye. Any opposed will vote nay. The five seconds to record the vote the clerk will record. Motion one to table passes. 32 in favor. 13 in the negative. Senator Don Davis votes no. 13 for, 14 against. The amendment to table passes. House Bill 589's back before us. Any further discussion or debate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Woodard. What purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister President. I appreciate my colleagues tolerance of my debate on their earlier bill and you might think I'm tired but as Reverend James Cleveland said, after hearing the discussion today I don't feel no ways tired. One of the things I've enjoyed about my time here is hearing the bells over at Christ's church chime the hour. But I've heard some bells the last few days that give me great pause. I've heard the death nail for simple, effective, safe, clean, fair and accessible elections. We talked a lot about voter ID yesterday. And I thought about my 20 year old niece, student at Carolina, rising junior. And when I was 16 I couldn't wait to get my driver's license. Did it the first day. She's waited. She still doesn't have her drivers license yet because young people just don't do that as much anymore I understand. So when she's gone, if you were asked to vote, she' civically engaged, she's voted for two years. What ID would she present? Senator Hise actually gave me pause yesterday when he pulled out his ID from the community college where he works. And it was a good point. It was a little hard to tell exactly what it was. I looked at my ID, mine's a little tough to read too. But if you care about enfranchisement of voters then we shouldn't be throwing in obstacles saying can't read the ID. We ought to be working to fix that. Let's get President Rawl in here and President Ross. Let's get a uniform ID across all of our institutions of higher education. Let's make them uniform so that we can all read them. Heck we've been doing that kind of thing for our local governments all session. Like I'd appoint Brock, Rucho and Nesbitt to do it since they've been spending a little time worrying about the design of license plates, let's get you'll to design the ID. Spent more time worrying about that than we have about something that could help enfranchise our college voters. We've spent time, as Senator Kinnaird pointed out correctly, that this bill only had a few pages about voter ID but spent a lot more time talking about elections broadly. You've attacked the time to vote in this bill, early voting, same day registration. You've attacked the early registration of teenagers. All things that are going to limit the right of North Carolinians, the ability of North Carolinians to vote. Senator Brock commented on Florida. He said we didn't want what happened in Florida in 2000 to occur here. Well we sure don't want happened in 2012 in Florida to occur here either. ?? long lines.
...the matter of choice in straight-ticket voting, that's gone, as well, and that's going to radically change. Making it easier to register and more convenient to vote encourages voting among groups such as, African Americans, Hispanics, the young, the old and in areas that are more likely to vote Democratic. Data after data after data shows us that. This bill actually speaks very little to scrutiny about absentee voting. After all, no ID is required to request an absentee ballot and no one can tell who fills out the ballot and returns it when the absentee ballot is counted. In fact, many studies have shown us that absentee ballots are more likely to be ruled invalid than votes cast early at same day or at same day registration. As Senator Stein pointed out, the data show that absentee ballots are more often requested by Republicans. Coincidence? Our friends, the Republic party, have argued uniformity, but that uniformity comes with a price in this bill and that is significant narrowing of our time, our ability, our places to vote. Let's make it uniformed, but let's make it broad at the same time. Then we get to the money. Senator Blue has offered you a series of very effective good government amendments that would get the money out of this. We voted, you all voted them down or tabled them very quickly. Our election should not be to the highest bidder, corporate or personal. We keep moving that $4000 limit to $5000 and then we're going to let it have an inflation inflator built into it. It's going to be that our elections soon are just going to be going to the highest bidder. When you have an agenda similar to what the Republic party has pushed through this session, those bidders are going to be standing in line because they're very pleased with what you all have passed down here. The corporate bidders and the highest bidders are going to be lining up. In addition, when we keep throwing this kind of money into the election process, you're going to narrow the list of people who can run for office. They don't have access to that kind of cash to run campaigns. So you're not going to see women, people of color, young people run for office. They don't have access to the kind of money it's going to take, and when we keep raising the price and the money in this. At a time when our state's population is becoming more diverse our electorate and our elected officials will become less diverse as a result of this bill. You can dress this up however you want, but House Bill 589 is plain and simple a brazen effort to limit the free exercise of our right to vote. I urge you to vote no. Thank you, Mr. President. Speaker Changes: Senator Robinson, for what purpose do you rise? Speaker Changes: To give the information for the journal... Speaker Changes: The Senator has the floor. Speaker Changes: The article was from Slate Bydilia Liftwick on July 24th. S-L-A-T-E ??. Speaker Changes: Thank you, Senator. Further discussion or debate on House Bill 589? Seeing none. Speaker Changes: Mr. President? Speaker Changes: Senator Nesbitt, for what purpose do you rise? Speaker Changes: I'm the one you've been waiting on. Speaker Changes: The Senator has the floor. Speaker Changes: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, members of the Senate, we've had a good and thorough debate on this bill. Over two days we've had a sense of history. I think we've reviewed the bill in great detail. I think everyone in the room knows what we're doing now. I want to make two or three observations. We've heard about Georgia. I don't want to be like Georgia. We've heard about South Carolina. I don't want to be like South Carolina. North Carolina is a better state than them, in my opinion. This is the state that I want to have and this the one that I want to be like. I heard a lot of correlations and statistics yesterday [cuts off]
Regarding early voting in Georgia. Well then today, when Senator Goolsby published his letter, I was finally able to understand the facts. The facts were, in 2006, they had no election to speak of. In 2010, Obama had probably registered half of Georgia in 2008, and they had a governor's election, and a senate election and so the voter participation of the minority population went up. That's no surprise. And then 2012, when the President was running for a second term, it went up again. Goodness gracious. Maybe that was all because they did voter ID in 2006, but I would propose to you that common sense doesn't says that's what happened. And I guess, statistics may say it, I don't know, I'm no expert on that, but common sense says that's not what happened. It says what I just said is what happened. We sit in here and debate this bill almost as if you all have got one set of voters, and we've got another. Now, that's kind of how all the experts we've hired tell us about the mail. Well it's kind of interesting when you do it by mail, you can mail to one group of voter, and then mail to another group of voters. And you can get targeted information to a targeted group. I've got some bad news for you all. You aren't just doing this to our folks, you're doing it to your folks. And they aren't going to like lines on bit better than we are. They aren't going to like having votes for 30 years and being turned away at the polls because they didn't bring their driver's license with them, when they're elderly. They aren't going to like, your people aren't going to like not teaching children civics in school and encouraging them to vote. And I'm telling you, when what I speak is fixing to happen, and you start having lines at these polls, and you take responsibility for it, they aren't going to like you either. They aren't going to like anybody that did that to them. I was reading last night, or the night before, an article that pointed out, don't hold me to these numbers, these will be close, that Seniors are having second thoughts about the republican party. That in the last election, I believe it was, you all had a 20% margin among Seniors. The latest shows that it's now down to 6. And after we finish telling them you tried to tax Social Security, we'll get that other 6, and if they go stand in the lines I think they're going to stand in, by the time they get in there, we'll have 6. Now, they're not going to put up with this. And if you doubt what I'm saying, you need to look around. Senator Blue mentioned what's going on in this world we live in right now. It's frightening, what people will do for freedom. And it's frightening what they will do when they feel like someone is trying to take that away from them. How would you like to be living in one of those countries that have mobs in the streets, and I don't know what they're shooting over there, I hope it's fire crackers, but there's guns going off, there's everything else going off, and they aren't going home until somebody's gone. Now I'm telling you, and that's not, they aren't over there about food, they aren't over there about education. You can kind of do all those things to people, they aren't entitled to those, but you start treading on their freedom, and you don't think that they have any freedom, and that their leaders don't care about them, they'll take you down. And, I know that there's been some people that have been
Representative: ...dismissive of what is going on in this state. I got a pretty good memory. I cannot remember 800 people being arrested in this town and taken to jail, and thousands getting on buses and coming down here to protest what is being done. You need to take note: people think they are not being heard, that they are not being listened to, that their freedom is being trampled on. And now it is going to the ballot box. I have said to you many times down here I did not know what the plan was, and I thought I had it, but when I get to thinking about this bill, I don’t know what to tell you all but this is not your answer. I thought it was – I thought this was the answer – to keep people from voting they wouldn’t be able to get recourse. The more I thought about it, this is not the answer. This is going to make a matter, and more resolute to go to the poles – that is what happened in Florida. You put them in lines for four hours and see how many will vote for you. I am telling you because they will be your lines, not mine. The best thing to do right now is to stop what we are doing to the people of this state, in unleashing this bill on them, and start over again and try to draw… if somebody has a legitimate problem with our process, we’ll fix it. Now, in fairness to Senator Tillman, I really am not going to go back to one day voting. We are not going back 40 years, but you can fix the system. I started out in my debate yesterday in telling you this system is not broken, and I have not heard anyone tell me it is. Now, if you declare everybody is a crook, then you can begin to get paranoid. Maybe we need to strip search all of the members out in the hall before you come in here because maybe you might have a gun. How about that? Or, maybe we stop the cars out there in the driveway and search them all because somebody might be on drugs. Speaker: Senator Nasbith, let’s please stay on the bill. Representative: Mr. President I am not going to argue with you. I am on the bill. That is what you are doing with this bill: you are declaring a bunch of crooks that are not there. You are calling the people of this state to be crooks. I told you last night, no one is trying to break into a polling place – it has never happened in the history of the state. That is not where the crooks are. You do not need to do all these things to these people. My point is that you can stop anything. The question is how much are you going to put everyone through to stop it. This system is not broken, you are fixing to break it. Speaker: Senator Berger, for what purpose do you rise? Representative: Mr. President, to speak on the bill. Speaker: Would you like to yield to Senator Rucho first? Representative: I would be more than happy to. Speaker: Senator Rucho, you have the floor sir. Representative: Thank you sir. Ladies and gentleman of the Senate, we have heard a lot of debate today. We have heard, actually, the debate was over three days. We had a very good debate in the rules committee talking about explaining this bill, excepting some amendments from both parties. We did the same thing debating house bill 589 and accepted some very good amendments from both the majority and minority party in making this a very good bill, and each of those votes, on the acceptance of the minority party, were a bipartisan vote – making this a better and stronger bill. I have listened to Senator Blue’s comments…
the story about dividing the land and then allowing the other people to choose which one they wanted first. When House bill 589 passes and becomes law, Sen. Blue, I will be delighted under that circumstance to let you vote first, vote second, vote any way. Because guess what, we're all gonna be equal. The only thing I ask of you, or anyone else in the state, is that we play by the same rules, and we only vote once. And that's all I'll ask. Sen. Stein made a number of comments in his usual flair and inflamatory statistics, some of them I question, but what he says and because he says it does not make it true, ladies and gentlemen. When my son and I, who, I have 2 sons, Sen. Stein, do you know what we do in our family? We teach and talk about democracy. Our family does that. Our family goes and votes from when my children growing up. I don't need a civics class to do that, Sen. Stein, we teach that within our family. I think it's a better place. We've talked about a number of issues, talked about straight ticket voting, what we believe that will give access to the down ballot candidates. We believe that what it does do, it allows every single person to have a chance to select a candidate of their choice. They can pick them or not pick them, that's their choice and that's not taking care of them. Also Sen. Stein was screaming about ten minutes in the voting booth. Nowhere in this bill does it say you have ten minutes, twenty minutes, you have all the time you need, Sen. Stein, that's the luxury of the system. That is the luxury of what we're trying to do here. Especially when we're talking about the early voting. What we're doing is yes, we're going to ten days, but the hours are increasing, so Sen. Brock's family members can go there when they work on the wrong shift, we talk about more potential hours available up to the individual counties making the decision to accomodate the need of their voters, and also a number of sites, additional sites. They're not stuck with a few, they've got some additional resources they can move the exisiting machines, the existing equipment over to additional sites that will make voting more available to every citizen within their county. The photo ID. 70% of the people of the people in North Carolina think it's important. This society, you just can't live in this society without having some sort of photo ID. And we can talk about everything from an airplane to a bank building to a government building. But what this photo ID does is it makes sure, as I talked to Sen. Blue about, that everybody that goes to vote has 1 opportunity to vote, and they know who it is that's voting. The value of the way we set this up is that we're transitioning and phasing this in, so that the voters will be knowledgable and educated to the point where they will know that an ID will ultimately be necessary but it will not be necessary until the 2016 election. We're giving them every opportunity, not only to understand what the law is, but more importantly to get the free identification if needed. I will be very surprised as Sen. Stein talks about this 500,000 people. That a number of other folks have done some studies on this, the fact is the 500,000, as it was in Georgia, when Sen. Goolsby alluded to yesterday, will never be a reality. I think there's a definite concern as to the study done by the board of elections. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a very good, fair, common sense bill, and I would ask that each of you support this bill so that we can restore the integrity and the honesty to the electoral system, and really take some big steps forward in bringing confidence back to state government. I urge you to support it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sen. Berger, what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The senator has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President, members of the Senate. I don't know that there's anything I can say to add to what has been said to this point. The only thing that I will say is
That the provision of this bill that has garnered the most discussion and the most debate, the voter identification provision, is something that is supported by the vast majority of the people that sent us here. It is important for us to listen to what the people want us to do. This is something that they support across all demographic lines. I urge you to vote for the bill to implement voter ID, but also to bring needed updates to our election system and our election laws. So I ask that you vote for the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Discussion or debate, hearing none. Question for the Senate is House Bill 589, Senate substitute as amended on the floor. All those in favor will vote aye. All those opposed will vote no. You will have five seconds to vote. The court clerk will record the vote. 33 in favor, 14 in the negative. Senate committee substitute for House Bill 589 does pass third reading and will be sent to the House with unengrossed amendments 11 and 13 as a Senate committee substitute to the House for concurrence. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister president. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just would like to make the same motion as yesterday that the words from the debate [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, it's already being done. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister president. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have two items we need to take some quick action on, on concurrence votes. Senate Bill 287 notice publication Guilford County local governments. Senate Bill 317 Guilford and Stanly election systems have been read in. I would ask that they be brought before us for immediate consideration on the issue of concurrence. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let's let the clerk read them in and then we'll bring them forth. Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Bill 287 house committee substitute, rewrite internet website publication of legal notices. Said Bill 317 house committee substitute, an act to reduce the size of the Guilford Count Board of Education from 11 to 9 members; to establish revised district for the Guilford County Board of Education and subject to referendum provide for partisan elections for that board and to district the Stanly County Board of Commissioners and the Stanly County Board of Education. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister president. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brock, what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To send forth a conference report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Send forth your conference report. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Conference report House Bill 417 to president of the Senate. The conferees appointed to resolve the differences between the Senate and the House of Representatives on House Bill 417, a bill to be entitled an act to modify the internal auditing status applicable the large state departments in the university system. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Calendar [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister president. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Newton, what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To send forth a conference report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Send forth your report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 287 [SPEAKER CHANGES] Conference report Bill 321 to the president of the Senate. The conferees appointed to resolve the differences between the Senate and the House of Representatives on Senate Bill 321, a bill to be entitled an act to cap reimbursements by counties to make additional provisions relating to payment for medical services provided to inmates in the county jails, to allow counties to utilize Medicaid for eligible prisoners, to provide that the vacancies in the office of the district court judge shall be filled by appointment of the Governor, and to create a private right of action against notaries who violate the Notary Public Act. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Calendar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next bill for the Senate, Senate Bill 287. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Clerk [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Bill 287, notice publication Guilford County local government. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Bill 287. Senator Wade, you have the floor to explain the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister president. I'm glad it has a number on it, Senate Bill 287, because it's the only way I recognize it and I've asked you not to concur. Do not concur please.
Motion forward to senate is concurrence motion on Senate bill 287, the senator asks that you do not concur. The five seconds for the vote, the clerk will record the vote, and again, ask you to vote no. Twenty-one vote in the negative, six vote in the positive. Let's see, Senator Berger, no, Senator Clark, no, Senator Soucek, no, Senator Rabon, Brunswick, no, Senator Blue, Senator Stein, no, Senator Nesbitt, was that an aye? Senator Nesbitt, aye. [Speaker Changes] Alright, let's back up here, let's vote this again, please. Pay attention, folks. Alright, question before the senate, motion to concur on Senate Bill 2-8-7, the sponsor asks that you vote no on the concurrence. You will have five seconds to vote, the clerk will record the vote. What have we got? Senator Brunstetter, no, Senator Berger no, and Senator, I'll be dog, Senator Nesbitt aye, and Senator Don Davis aye and Senator McKissick, aye. OK, are we going to have to do this again? OK, the motion to concur fails, thirty to fifteen. The house will be notified appointment of conferees. That's fine, that's fine. Next bill before us, what's the next one, sir? Senate bill 317 for concurrence. [Speaker Changes] Senate Bill 317 Guilford and Stanley County election systems. Senator Wade's around to explain the motion. [Speaker Changes] Thank you, Mr. President. Again, I asked you not to concur. [Speaker Changes] Senate Bill 317, motion to concur, senator sponsoring asks that you not concur. There will be five seconds for the vote, the clerk will record. Motion to concur fails, 44 to 0. The Senate, the house will be notified. Senator Bryant, no. That'd be 45, OK. Senator Brunstetter. [Speaker Changes] Mr. President, I'd like to submit a conference report, please. [Speaker Changes] Send forth your conference report, please. [Speaker Changes] Clerk will read. [Speaker Changes] Conference report, Senate Bill 182, the president and the senate. The conferees appointed to resolve the difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives on Senate bill 182, the bill to be entitled to enact appeals to infractions to modify appeals to the superior court, in probation revocation in which the defendant has waived a hearing to ammend the laws pertaining to resentencees upon the reversal of a sentence and appellate review, to make changes regarding the procedures for appropriate relief, and to reclassify certain misdemeanors and infractions. [Speaker Changes] Calendar. [Speaker Changes] Senator Pate, what reason do you rise? [Speaker Changes] To announce conferees. [Speaker Changes] Senator has the floor. [Speaker Changes] Senator Berger has appointed conferees for senate bill 317, Guilford and Stanley elections, Senator Wade, chair, Senator Rucho, Senator Tillman. On Senate Bill 287, notice publication, conferees appointed by Senator Berger are Senator Wade, Chairman, Senator Rucho, and Senator Jim Davis. [Speaker Changes] Senator Brunstetter, what purpose do you rise? [Speaker Changes] Motion Please. [Speaker Changes] Senator has the Floor. [Speaker Changes] I'd like to move that we stand and recess until 540. [Speaker Changes] Let me hold that motion just a moment. We need to do ratification of bills. I guess we can go ahead and wander off as we are ratifying bills. [Speaker Changes] Clerk will read. [Speaker Changes] Enrolling bills, Enrolling clerk reports the following bills as duly ratified for presentation to the governer. Senate bill 18, an act ammending the locksmith's licensing act exbanding the authority of the locksmith's licensing act board to regulate institutional locksmiths and raising the ceiling on certain fees. Senate bill 470, an act to prohibit the consumption of malt beverages of fortified wine on the premises of any business during the time of any on premise permit issued to the business authorizing the sale
[SPEAKER CHANGES] Consumption of malt beverages or unfortified wine is suspended or revoked by the alcoholic beverage control commission and amend the definition of a convention center for purposes of the state ABC laws. Senate bill five forty seven, an act to amend the statutes covering guaranteed energy savings contracts for governmental units. House bill six six nine, an act to appoint persons to various public offices upon the recommendations of the Speaker of the House, the Representatives, and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. House bill seven twenty seven, an act to allow the Division of Motors to issue a salvage certificate of title to an insurance company or a used car dealer in certain situations where the insurance company or used car dealer is unable to obtain the original certificate of title from the owner of the motor vehicle. House bill eight three four, an act enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of state government by modernizing a state system of human resource management and by providing flexibility for executive branch reorganization and restructuring to improve transparency in the cost of healthcare provided by hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities. To terminate the sell off debt collection by certain state agencies providing healthcare to the public. To make it unlawful for healthcare providers to charge for procedures or components of procedures that were not provided or supplied. To provide for fair healthcare facility building and collections practicing and provide that hospitals receiving Medicare reimbursements participate in North Carolina health information exchange network. The following Bill is duly ratified and properly enrolled and presented to the Office of the Secretary of State. House bill one ninety five, and act extending the authority of the town of Cornelius to use design build delivery methods. House bill one o one five, an act and acts in certain describe property to the corporate limits of the city of Bessemer City. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate stands in recess to five fifty.