Thursday, July 06, 2006

Electoral Fairness Act hearing, part two of three?

Here's a message from Hart Matthews of the NC Green Party and NC Open Elections Coalition:


That's right, folks. The Electoral Fairness Act will be in front of the Senate Judiciary I Committee AGAIN tomorrow (Friday 7/7/06) at 10 a.m., room 1027 of the Legislative Building.

There was no committee vote on House Bill 88 today, not even a discussion. Judiciary I chairman Dan Clodfelter was concerned about the threat of an amendment by Minority Leader Phil Berger, an amendment to get the bill back down to the 1/2% signature limit. Sen. Berger yesterday declared his intention to offer such an amendment, and Sen. Clodfelter feels that means death for the bill.

Sen. Clodfelter was taken aback when I told him we'd rather the bill die than pass without that amendment. The Senate committee substitute has put the vote threshold to stay on the ballot back to 2% (good!), but it keeps the signature level at 2% (very bad!). This bill would also move the deadline up a month and add a filing fee. Sen. Clodfelter feels he can fix the deadline discrepancy, but the House opposes removing the filing fee.

After the Judiciary committee meeting, I had an extended conversation with Sen. Clodfelter and Rep. Deborah Ross. They clearly care about passing this bill so they can set some signature limits for independent candidates. Apparently, they're getting major resistance from the Democratic leadership, and the general policy is not to bring something to the floor until all the disagreements have been ironed out. So, Clodfelter is more inclined not to bring the bill to committee at all.

Although Rep. Ross energetically encouraged us to take what we could get, I stood by our position and encouraged them to bring the bill to the committee.

If you're inclined to write a Senator tonight, write Sen. Dan Clodfelter ( Thank him for all his effort on this bill and ask him to bring the bill to committee for a vote, regardless of the danger an amendment might pose. OR, write Sen. Phil Berger ( to reinforce our support for an amendment bringing the signature requirement to 1/2% of the votes cast in the last
gubernatorial race.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.


Post a Comment

<< Home