by Joe Guarino | The Greensboro Gaurdian
One piece of legislation in which I have acute interest is HB 794– the Voter Freedom Act. And there is some good news to report. The bill just passed its third reading in the North Carolina House of Representatives. That means it beat the “crossover deadline,” and is headed over to the North Carolina Senate for consideration.
The Voter Freedom Act would begin the process of fixing a longstanding inequity in the state of North Carolina. Currently, our state has enormous legal barriers erected that are designed to prevent participation by third parties in the political process.
by Jordon Greene | Free the Vote NC
The votes are in on HB794, Voter Freedom Act of 2013. The former ballot access reform legislation turned ballot access reform study bill passed the North Carolina House of Representatives today with a vote of 109-5. Now a Study Bill, the legislation still must be approved by the Senate and signed by the Governor. Once the bill passes all the usual legislative hurdles and makes it into law, the Joint Elections Oversight Committee will then be required to study the question of ballot access in North Carolina.
by Jordon Greene & Brian Irving | Free the Vote NC
Yesterday, the House Election Committee took up HB794, Voter Freedom Act of 2013. During the meeting, the Committee decided to turn HB794 into a Study Bill due to some unanswered questions and concerns from some members. The altered bill, a Proposed Committee Substitute for HB794 which passed unanimously, now directs the Joint Elections Oversight Committee to study all issues covered by the original Voter Freedom Act of 2013, including ballot access requirements for political parties and unaffiliated candidates.
While this was not our hope and outlook for HB794 and ballot access reform at the time, upon the recommendation of HB794’s Primary Lead Sponsor Rep. Jason Saine, and faced with the political reality of the situation Free the Vote North Carolina agreed to the change.
by Brent Laurenz | The Voter Update
RALEIGH – Gerrymandering has been around almost as long as the country, with neither political party holding a monopoly on using redistricting to enhance its own power.
Here in North Carolina, we have now seen both parties use redistricting to their advantage. Democrats did it for decades before they lost control in 2010 and Republicans just had their shot at it in 2011.
While gerrymandering may seem commonplace and just the way things are done, there are better ways to redraw legislative districts and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Raleigh hopes to move in that direction.