3:30 PM, Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 227 Fountainhead Ln #101, Fayetteville, NC 28301
(POC: Jay DeLancy 919.332.4129)
VIP Announces Statewide Push to Pass HB 29 (SB 60)
July 6, 2017 (Asheville, NC) – The Voter Integrity Project today, joined forces joined the Asheville TEA Party and the North Carolina Tea Party Constitution Caucus statewide effort to invoke the unprecedented use of Senate Rule 47, also called a “discharge petition,” to compel a floor vote on a bill that helps all 100 county election boards to maintain more accurate voter rolls, but has been resisted by Senate leadership since 2013.
“House Bill 29 would finally force each county's Clerk of Superior Court to share critical information,” said Jay DeLancy, Director of VIP. “Their cooperation would help the BOE identify voters who either moved away, became felons or told the courts they were non-US citizens.”
House Bill 29, a parallel bill with the exact wording as SB 60, passed the House with bi-partisan support, 74 to 40. Along with SB 60, it stalled in the Senate, but both bills are eligible for passage during either the short session in 2018 or any emergency sessions the leadership may call over election matters.
A similar bill passed the House in 2013 and 2015, but was killed both times in the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by the now retired, Senator Tom Apodaca, whose district covered Buncombe, Henderson and Transylvania Counties. (Details on VIP’s 5-year effort to pass this law can be found at this link.) Florida and Kansas already have laws that make public any jury disqualification data, since persons who are “disqualified” are in no danger of being pressured from gangs or family members of people who are on trial.
“We are asking citizen activists from all across the state who care about election integrity to help us by tracking their senators and obtaining pledge statements,” said Jane Bilello, Chairman of the Asheville TEA Party and state leader of the North Carolina Tea Party Constitutional Caucus “They will either have to support more accurate voter rolls or explain to the public why they oppose it.”
Voter Integrity Project recently sued Wake County’s Board of Elections and settled the case in a way that will serve to improve the county’s voter rolls in the years ahead.
Senate Rule 47:
RULE 47. Recall of bill from committee and discharge petition; re-calendaring or referral of a bill to committee. – (a) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, only the President Pro Tempore, the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate, or the chair of a committee to which a bill or other matter is assigned may, with the consent of a majority of the membership of the Senate present and voting, recall the measure from its assigned committee to be referred to another committee or the floor. Only the President Pro Tempore or the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Operation of the Senate may, with the consent of a majority present and voting, re-calendar a bill or resolution appearing on the calendar or refer or re-refer it to committee. (b) A motion to discharge a committee from consideration of a bill or resolution may be filed with the Principal Clerk if accompanied by a petition signed by two-thirds of the members of the Senate asking that the committee be discharged from further consideration of the bill or resolution. No petition may be circulated for signatures until 10 legislative days after the bill has been referred to the committee. No petition may be circulated for signature until notice has been given on the floor of the Senate that the petition is to be circulated. If such a motion accompanied by a valid petition is filed, the Principal Clerk shall place that motion on the calendar for the next legislative day as a special order of business. If the motion is adopted by two-thirds of the members of the Senate, then the committee to which the bill or resolution has been referred is discharged from further consideration of the bill or resolution, and that bill or resolution is placed on the calendar for the next legislative day as a special order of business. If the committee had, prior to discharge, adopted any amendment or committee substitute for the bill, it shall be in order to offer that amendment or substitute on the floor as if it were a committee amendment or substitute. The Principal Clerk shall provide a form for discharge petitions. (c) This rule shall not be temporarily suspended.