STATEMENT FROM ROCK THE VOTE PRESIDENT ASHLEY SPILLANE ON NORTH CAROLINA VOTING RIGHTS HEARING
“Rock the Vote stands firmly behind the seven college students challenging the provisions in North Carolina’s HB 589 that make it more difficult for young people to vote.
“In 2013, North Carolina legislators stripped away several policies that made it easier for young Americans to cast their ballot and participate in the political process. In fact, one of the bill’s supporters, Senator Bill Cook, was clear – he wants to block the vote. He stated, “[College students] don’t pay squat in taxes” and “[t]hey skew the results of elections in local areas …but they don’t have any skin in the game.”
“Policies like same day voter registration and pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds were proven to boost youth participation. In 2012, young people were 2.6 times more likely to take advantage of same day registration. Over 160,000 eligible young people were automatically registered to vote after pre-registering in 2010-2013. As a result of HB 589, none of these options exist for North Carolinians. Rock The Vote believes that eliminating these effective policies is unconstitutional and a violation of the 26th Amendment.
“Rock The Vote believes that our country should be making it more convenient for young people to vote, not throwing up additional barriers that limit their ability to participate. Young Americans have the power to strengthen our democracy and make their voices heard when they vote.
“That’s why we’re launching an online petition today to stand united against these oppressive efforts: “ROCK THE VOTE, DON’T BLOCK THE VOTE.” Click here to add your name and join us.”