Republican lawmakers move to change North Carolina Constitution so only citizens can vote even though it already says that

Republican lawmakers move to change North Carolina Constitution so only citizens can vote even though it already says that

One of the bill’s sponsors says it’s a measure to protect election security in the future. Here’s why he believes change is necessary…

RALEIGH, N.C. – A group of Republicans in the state House are trying to change the North Carolina Constitution to ensure that only American citizens can vote, even though that is already the law.

His bill makes changes to Section 1 of Article VI of the state Constitution. In this part about who can vote, “Every person born in the United States and every person who has been naturalized” is replaced by “only a citizen of the United States.”

Four representatives from our area are among the people co-sponsoring this bill. Rep. Julia Howard, Rep. Neal Jackson, host Larry Potts and Rep. Dennis Riddel. We contacted all of them for comment yesterday morning. Rep. Potts of Davidson County is the only one who responded for comment.

By phone, Potts said there is a nationwide movement to reconsider whether someone born in the United States should automatically become a U.S. citizen. And if that changes, he believes the North Carolina state constitution should be ready.

“I have read that there are birth flights being carried out particularly from China, where people wait until the mother arrives in the United States to have a child in the last week of her pregnancy. She has a dual citizenship agreement. “I don’t think that was ever part of the original intent of the framers of the Constitution,” Potts said.

WFMY News 2’s Ben Briscoe asked, “Right now he’s a U.S. citizen under federal law, so why not leave it as is and change it if that changes with a court case?” Why change it now?

“Why not change it now?” Potts responded.

Thom Little, a political science professor at UNCG, says Republicans may see additional benefit in addressing this now. A constitutional amendment would be included on the November vote and could boost turnout in the election. Little says it could also be good for Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson.

“This is something that could help motivate Republican votes in the short term. For this election, just jump ship, but I think the other thing for North Carolina Republicans is that this would be something that candidate Mark Robinson can really dunk.” “We bit and we talked and maybe diverted some of the attention with some of his more controversial statements,” Little said.

We asked Potts about the idea that this could be a political move, since it does nothing to change the current law on who can and cannot vote. This is what he said.

“Often the opposition party uses abortion and other things to try to get more people to the polls in November, so I don’t think it’s that. But if it is, it happens because that’s politics,” Potts said.

Driving this change isn’t just happening in North Carolina. According to the Voting Rights Lab, 16 states are currently considering some form of legislation like Raleigh’s bill to ensure that noncitizens cannot vote. Right now, the North Carolina bill still has a long way to go before being passed. We will stay informed.