NC Senate Moves Forward Three Constitutional Amendments On Elections, Income Tax Cap

By David N. Bass
Carolina Journal

A North Carolina Senate committee moved forward a bill on Thursday that would put three constitutional amendments on the November general election ballot.

The original version of Senate Bill 630 included a proposed amendment specifying that only US citizens may vote in elections. But the measure was amended during the committee meeting to include two additional amendments. One would build on the voter ID amendment passed in 2018 to require a voter ID for all forms of voting, not just in-person. The second would put a cap on the state income tax of 5% into the state constitution.

To pass, a constitutional amendment must garner a three-fifths majority of support in both chambers of the legislature and a simple majority vote of voters at the ballot box. The three proposed amendments would appear on the ballot as separate items.

Most of the focus of debate in the committee was on the non-citizen voting constitutional amendment. On June 5, the House moved along a similar constitutional amendment. Supporters argue the amendment is needed for further clarify state law and prevent localities from allowing non-citizens to vote.

“Democrats in far-left cities and states are doing everything they possibly can to allow noncitizens to vote in elections,” said Sen. Brad Overcash, R-Gaston, in a statement. “The best defense we can mount against these attacks on democracy is to empower the people of North Carolina to amend their own constitution to state that only U.S. citizens shall vote in our elections.”

“In the era of ‘lawfare’ run rampant, I don’t think we can rely on language that is not exact on this,” said Jim Stirling, research fellow at the John Locke Foundation’s Civitas Center for Public Integrity, during testimony before the Senate committee.

Ann Webb, policy director for Common Cause NC, said the amendment “is driven by conspiracy theories, frankly, about non-citizen voting that are rampant in our politics today and are designed to tear our voters apart rather than helping us see how we can be brought together.”

Sen. Natasha Marcus, D-Mecklenburg, questioned whether the amendment is needed given the existing language surrounding citizen-only voting in state law.

“The North Carolina Constitution’s current language is permissive and doesn’t say ‘only,’” responded Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson. “What we’re seeing is a trend across the country and rumors of it here in North Carolina of allowing non-citizens to vote because court rulings in other places have held similar or the same language to be permissive and not restrictive.”

Recent polling by Carolina Partnership for Reform found support for all three amendments from NC voters: 68% said they would back an amendment on non-citizen voting, 70% favor the expanded requirements surrounding voter ID, 71% would give a green light to reducing the maximum NC income tax rate allowed by the constitution from 7% to 4%.

David Bass is a senior contributor to the Carolina Journal.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The idea that we would let people vote who aren’t citizens is mind boggling. Only a crazy person would think letting people vote who aren’t citizens is smart

    • According to the state constitution, non- citizens are not allowed to vote now. Why do we need an amendment to change the wording to say the same thing? Political gamesmanship is the only reason. This is what we get for constantly voting for the same idiots, all the care about is getting re-elected.

  2. Only in America do the hard-working people get taxed for their labor in order to pay for the lazy ones who don’t work. Murrrica! Do away with income tax. We worked for it. The government didn’t.

  3. I’m so tired of the GA using the voter ID ploy to get re-elected. They wrote into the law a provision that allows anyone to vote without an ID. They pandered to the religious right and put in a provision that all anyone has to do it claim religious objection/beliefs and can vote without showing an ID. Maybe someday EVERY voter will claim religious objection and vote without showing an ID to show the GA how ridiculous their voter ID law is that they created to fix a problem that didn’t and doesn’t exist.

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