Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Electoral Fairness Act hearing, part one of two?

Barbara Howe attended the hearing today on H88, the Electoral Fairness Act, in the NC Senate Judiciary 1 committee. Here is her report, and thanks Barbara!


This note is in response to several posted regarding HB 88.

The bill was heard in JI today. Basically, Senator Clodfelter presented an amended version of the House bill (that abomination that passed in the wee small hours of the session last year). Clodfelter's version restored the original retention requirement back to two percent of the vote for gov or pres and removed the change in the date for filing the petitions back to June.

Unfortunately, what Clodfelter's bill didn't do is restore the reduction of signature requirement to one half of one percent.

I learned that Clodfelter wasn't going to amend the signature requirement as I walked in the LB about fifteen minutes before the committee was scheduled to meet. Hart Matthews had heard this from Clodfelter. I went to Senator Phil Berger and asked him if he would offer an amendment to restore the half percent. He agreed to do it, but explained he might have to leave the committee meeting before the bill came up.

This did indeed happen. He left. Clodfelter called the bill. :-(

Senator Clodfelter did let Hart and me speak briefly and we implored the committee to restore the petitioning reduction.

Then, they decided to hold the vote tomorrow.

I did get a chance to see Senator Berger after the committee meeting and he did say that tomorrow he would offer the amendment.

Sean's announcement (ed. note: one I forwarded from the committee secretary) says the meeting is at 10:00. Clodfelter said they would meet at 9:00 (but perhaps he was speaking before he checked with others). I'll be there a little before 9:00, just in case the meeting is actually at 9:00. If not, I'll wander the halls until committee time. Really, it's my favorite thing to do. Not....

Rep. Deb Ross came over after the committee adjourned and told us that if the signature reduction is restored, she is sure the House will not concur and then the bill will probably die. Frankly, if we don't get the signature reduction, and we do get filing fees, I think the bill probably should die. She seems to think the reduction of the retention from ten to two percent ought to be enough for us.

Politics sure is ugly.


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