HB 589: VIVA/Election Reform

Summary: The new voting laws phase in over three years. Click here for official bill history, bill text, and vote records.

Effective Immediately: Program that provides public financing for judicial elections is ended; The law also repeals public financing for three Council of State offices and ends the political parties financing fund (source: ncvotered.com). 

Effective September 2013: 16 and 17 year old students can no longer pre-register to vote. 

Effective October 2013: Lobbyists cannot collect or pass along any contribution to a candidate. 

Effective January 2014: 

  • Early voting period is reduced by one week and will only be 10 days long; 
  • The total hours of early voting must equal the hours the county provided in the previous election unless all local and state board members approve fewer hours; 
  • Same day registration is eliminated and voters must register 25 days in advance; 
  • Straight party voting is eliminated; 
  • If a provisional ballots is cast in the wrong precinct on Election Day it will no longer be counted; 
  • The county election boards will no longer be able to extend voting hours if a problem arises; only the State Board of Elections will have the ability to extend hours; 
  • Poll workers will ask voters for a photo ID when they vote (though the ID is not required to vote until 2016); 
  • Voters may apply for a free non driver’s license “special ID card” from the DMV and must produce a birth certificate and documents showing their residence to attain the ID card;  
  • County political parties may designate more poll observers; 
  • Any registered NC voter may challenge another voter as not being registered or violating a voting rule - on Election Day the challenger must be from the same county as the person being challenged; 
  • Contribution limits to candidates and PACS increase from $4,000 to $5,000 and will continue to increase every two years; 
  • Contribution limits for judicial candidates increase from $1,000 to $5,000; 
  • Organizations may spend unlimited amounts on ads against candidates and other “electioneering” expenses from the May primary until Sept 7 of the election year (even year elections) without disclosing the source of the money or the amount spent to the State Board of Elections or the public; Ends NC’s “Stand By Your Ad” law meaning that candidates, parties and PACs will no longer have to identify themselves as sponsors of an ad.

Effective January 2016: 

  • Voters will have to show a photo ID to cast a ballot (the acceptable forms of ID are a current NC driver’s license or permit, a special ID card for non-drivers, US passport, US Military ID or Veteran’s ID card, and an enrollment card from a federally or state recognized tribe. An out of state driver’s license may be used within 90 days of the voter’s registration. Student ID cards will not be accepted.);  
  • Voters without acceptable ID may cast a provisional ballot and bring an acceptable ID to the county board of elections by noon the day before the election canvass; 
  • All IDs must not be expired, except voters over 70 may present an acceptable, expired ID provided the ID was unexpired on the voter’s 70th birthday.

Status: Introduced in the House, heard in the House Committee on Regulatory Reform and the Senate Committee onRules and Operations. Passed on 7/26/2013. Signed into law by Gov. McCrory 8/12/2013.

WNC Legislators sponsoring the bill: 

  • Sponsors: Josh Dobson (HD85), Mike Hagar (HD112), Chuck McGrady (HD117), Tim Moffitt (HD116), Michelle Presnell (HD118), Nathan Ramsey (HD115), Chris Whitmire (HD113), Jonathan Jordan (HD 93)

Voting for HB 589
Rep. Roger West (R)
Rep. Michelle Presnell (R)
Rep. Chuck McGrady (R)
Rep. Tim Moffitt (R)
Rep. Nathan Ramsey (R)
Rep. Chris Whitmire (R)
Rep. Mike Hager (R)
Rep. Hugh Blackwell (R)
Rep. Josh Dobson (R)
Rep. Jonathan Jordan (R)

Sen. Jim Davis (R)
Sen. Tom Apodaca (R)
Sen. Ralph Hise (R)
Sen. Warren Daniel (R)
Sen. Dan Soucek (R)
Voting Against HB 589
Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D)
Rep. Susan Fisher (D)

Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D)
Not Voting