We may be Blue Devils, but Senate Bill 666, filed yesterday in the North Carolina General Assembly, is a threat to our voting rights. The first page of this bill contains the following text: “The taxpayer is allowed an exemption amount for each qualifying child, as provided by section 151(c) of the Code for the taxable year, unless the qualifying child has changed their principal place of abode from that of the taxpayer as indicated by the qualifying child’s voter registration.”
Senate Bill 667 is similar in spirit: “The following additions to taxable income shall be made in calculating North Carolina taxable income, to the extent each item is not included in taxable income: … (16) Any personal exemption allowed for a child if that child is registered to vote at an address other than that of the person claiming the exemption and the child does not cancel the child’s voter registration within 30 days of receiving a letter of notification under G.S. 163-82.7(c1).”
What both of these bills have in common is that they seek to limit the right of students to vote at college by putting a financial penalty on their families–and creating financial incentives to vote in a certain manner is dangerous in itself. As a North Carolinian student myself, I would have to vote at home instead of participating in the elections that will have a direct impact on me for the majority of the year.
Regardless of whether this kind of bill passes, this is not the first effort by the General Assembly to limit your right to vote on campus, nor will it be the last.