Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) issued the following joint statement Wednesday in response to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that affirmed the state’s election reform law, allowing it to remain intact for the upcoming 2014 election cycle:
“Today, in bipartisan fashion, our nation’s highest court affirmed North Carolina’s election reform law by allowing it to move forward for next month’s elections. The court’s ruling restores the clarity and certainty to the election process that has been in place since the May primary and was disrupted at the eleventh hour. These commonsense reforms will help support voter integrity in North Carolina while protecting every citizen’s constitutional right to vote.”
North Carolina’s election reform law guarantees at least the same number of overall hours for early voting as in previous elections unless a bipartisan group of election officials chooses to modify those hours – in sharp contrast to several other states, including New York and Michigan, that do not allow early voting at all.
According to the State Board of Elections, the 2014 general election will have more early voting locations across North Carolina than in any prior off-year election and nearly 70 percent more evening hours for early voting than in 2010, the most recent non-presidential general election.
The law allows time to verify voter information by repealing same-day registration, ensuring accuracy and bringing North Carolina in line with 30 other states that do not have same-day registration.
It also requires voters to cast ballots in their own precinct, ensuring their votes are counted for every race, not just statewide races. If out-of-precinct ballots are allowed, votes for local races could be invalidated.