On Tuesday, state Representative Bill Cook (R-Beaufort County) introduced a controversial “Equalizing Voter Rights” bill (SB 667) that would negatively impact North Carolina students who are registered to vote where they attend school as opposed to being registered at their parents address. The bill would only apply to students from North Carolina attending college in the state. It would make such students ineligible for dependent status on a parent or guardian’s state income tax forms. The bill was filed on Tuesday and is also paired with a larger voter suppression bill that would limit early voting days and times and ban same-day registration (SB 666).
Last year, 17 states passed voter suppression laws that increased wait times at the polls, decreased early voting days, and mandated state-issued ID requirements for voting. New laws affecting the election process have already been suggested this year in preparation for the 2014 mid-term elections. The Supreme Court is also currently debating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires areas with a history of voting discrimination to have any changes made to voting laws reviewed by the Department of Justice.