On Aug. 24, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 747, saying the legislation — which would change election rules — is an assault on voting rights.
The bill, introduced into the N.C. General Assembly earlier this summer, was passed by both chambers and would be enacted in 2024. The legislation outlines new voting guidelines including modifications to mail-in ballots, polling observers and same-day registration.
In a video message, Cooper said that although Democrats have stopped similar bills before, Republican lawmakers currently have a supermajority, which means they can override any of his vetoes.
“They’re making it harder for you to vote, hoping that you won’t bother,” Cooper said.
N.C. Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Buncombe, Burke, McDowell), a primary sponsor for the bill, said he anticipated Cooper's veto, but said the proposed changes should be positive for voters.
“Hindsight is 20/20,” he said. “So we can look back at things that could have been done better in our elections and maybe how we can give people more confidence in the fairness of an election and that everything’s being done right and especially being counted.”
Since 2016, according to the Heritage Foundation, there have been 32 cases of voter fraud in North Carolina, eight of which were related to the illegal use of absentee ballots.
Daniel said there is currently no uniformity in the observation of the election process, so this bill creates guidelines that observers must follow.
“Having eyes on the election process by volunteers is just one of the ways that I think we can ensure that elections are being run right,” he said.