Action Alert: Senate Bill 861

Published 5/31/20


NC Senate drafting legislation to revise voter laws in response to COVID-19. Contact Senators NOW to demand election integrity!!!


Dear Voter,

Last week, the state House of Representatives passed House Bill 1169 (HB 1169) to revise current election laws and provide additional funding to address the challenges of holding an election during COVID-19. Now, the state Senate is reviewing draft Senate Bill 861 (SB 861), which includes many additional revisions to our election laws.

Unfortunately, some of the provisions in SB 861 compromise the integrity of our elections. For example, SB 861:

  • Reduces the witness requirement for absentee ballots from two to one, and further allows the voter to attest on their own behalf in the absence of even one witness.
  • Allows persons under the voting age of 18 to serve as an election judge or chief judge.
  • Allows temporary workers from outside the county to be poll workers, opening the floodgates to outside influencers.
  • Allows online requests for absentee ballots, creating the possibility for fraudulent requests or errors verifying electronic signatures.
  • Allows a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or similar to be used in lieu of a driver’s license number or the last four digits of the voter’s social security number when requesting an absentee ballot.
  • Restrictions for assistance in care facilities would be eased to allow “two designated assistants not of the same party, or unaffiliated” to be present, providing no guarantee of accountability or oversight.
  • Extends the deadline to submit voter registration by mail from the current 25 days prior to election to the Saturday before the election, leaving little time for election boards to verify the eligibility of those newly registered voters.

Two important provisions in last week’s HB 1169 are not included in SB 861, but should be.  Specifically:

  • The provision which prohibits authorities from delivering absentee ballots to those who did not request them, and prohibits all mail-in ballot only elections.
  • The corresponding enforcement provision which makes sending an unrequested absentee ballot a Class I felony.

Now is the time to act to protect the integrity of our elections in 2020! This bill is expected to move through the Senate this week, so please act now to demand accountability, transparency, and integrity in our election process! Please call or write to the following Senate leaders and encourage them to make changes regarding the points above. Let your Senators know you appreciate their support and backing of conservatives in North Carolina.

Sen. Phil Berger (R-30)      919-733-5708

Sen. Warren Daniel (R-46)  919-715-7823

Sen. Ralph Hise (R-47)       919-733-3460

Sen. Paul Newton (R-36)     919-733-7223


In addition to these Senate leaders, you can look up and include the individual Senator from your district here:

If you want to read the language in SB 861 directly, you can find it here:

Thanks for helping ensure North Carolina elections remain free and fair!



Members of the Orange County GOP & the NC Election Integrity Task Force

Waddy Davis, Chairman of Orange County GOP

Shawnee Seese, Ph.D.