Source: Rob Schofield / NC Policy Watch
One of the more controversial bills of this year’s voter suppression package at the North Carolina General Assembly is Senate Bill 667 – a proposal that would purport to prevent parents from claiming their children as tax deductions if they register to vote in the communities where they attend college.
Now, it appears, we know where the lead sponsor, Senator Bill Cook, of got at least some of the inspiration for the bill — from local officials in one of the counties he represents (Pasquotank). As it turns out, suppressing the votes of college students there (at least the African-Amerian ones) is a popular sport for some conservative politicians.
Attorney Clare Barnett of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice has the story:
Black student voters challenged and removed from voter rolls
Fifty-six students at the historically black university, Elizabeth City State University, were removed from the voter registration rolls by the Pasquotank County Board of Elections after challenges by the local Republican Party Chair. During an 8 hour hearing, the Pasquotank GOP Chair, Richard Gilbert, challenged the registration of 60 voters, 59 of whom were registered to vote using a ECSU campus address. The only non-ECSU voter challenge was for a deceased relative of Mr. Gilbert’s associate. According to the Board of Elections Director, Mr. Gilbert requested a list of students from ECSU living on campus as of October 2012. The local Board uses a similar list to verify the addresses of students who register to vote on campus. Any students who were registered to vote at the campus address but did not appear on the ECSU list were challenged. At a March 13, 2013 probable cause hearing, the Board found probable cause for all the challenges based on the voters not appearing on the ECSU list.
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