RALEIGH – Representatives D. Hall (R-Caldwell), McNeill (R-Moore, Randolph), C. Smith (R-Columbus, Pender) and Miller (R-Brunswick, New Hanover) have filed House Bill 807, the “Uniformed Heroes Voting Act.”
During the 2020 election cycle, two uniformed law enforcement officers were denied their right to vote simply because they arrived at the polling place wearing their uniforms. According to Derek Bowens, Durham county’s election director, there was reportedly a concern of “intimidation” from one of the poll workers.
House Bill 807 clarifies that no one seeking to vote may be refused entry into the voting place due to that person being a law enforcement officer, first responder, correctional officer, or member of the military while appearing in the uniform required by that person’s employer.
While admitting that they have no legal authority to block the aforementioned groups from voting, Governor Cooper’s Board of Elections prohibits the presence of uniformed law enforcement officers at polling precincts. A memo from Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell says it is “not appropriate or permissible for law enforcement to be stationed at a voting place.”
“With the unfortunate anti-law enforcement sentiments flaring across the country, it is vitally important for our state to remain vigilant and protect the rights of our law enforcement professionals as they work to keep our communities safe,” said Representative Hall.
House Bill 807 will be heard in the House Elections Committee on Wednesday, May 5th, at 1:00PM.