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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

New bill could affect the way state residents cast their votes

The last two weeks in Raleigh have yielded several new bills that would change the way state residents cast their votes.  One recent addition, filed in the state Senate last Thursday, would likely reduce the number of college students who vote.

Senate Bill 667 would prevent parents from claiming their child as a dependent for tax purposes if that child registers to vote at an address different from the parent’s.  This is often the case with college students who are voting for the first time. 

The bill also requires the young voter to register his or her vehicle within 60 days.  And the measure notes that the new voter is responsible for payment of any local property tax. 

Rock The Vote works to engage younger people in the elections process and build political power in that bloc.  Spokesperson Amanda Brown says this bill not only makes it more difficult for students to vote; it places an unreasonable burden on parents. 

Brown says state leaders should instead spend their time building a process that makes it easier for young people to practice their right to vote – wherever they are. 

Republican leaders in the Senate say the changes to voting laws in North Carolina will save the state money.

The bill is now being reviewed by the Rules and Operations Committee.  If approved, it then goes to the Senate Finance Committee.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.