Republican legislators in the North Carolina General Assembly introduced a new bill (SB 667) into the NC Senate on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. The proposed bill would carry a tax penalty for parents whose children register to vote at their college address.
“If the voter is a dependent of the voter’s parent or legal guardian, is 18 years of age or older and the voter has registered at an address other than that of the parent or legal guardian, the parent or legal guardian will not be allowed to claim the voter as a dependent for state income tax purposes,” states the proposed bill.
So under the proposed bill, if a college student moved to another part of the state to attend school, and decided to change their voter registration to their school’s precinct–then the student’s parents would no longer be able to utilize the dependent child tax exemption.
The current NC tax code allows for between $2,000 and $2,500 in exemptions for dependent children. So parents whose children attend school elsewhere in the state would be taking a significant financial hit if these exemptions were revoked.
The proposed bill would also require voters to have their vehicles registered at the same address as their voter registration.
The bill is part of a larger initiative by NC Republicans to limit voters’ access to the polls. SB 666– another bill introduced by the same group of Republicans– would shorten early voting days, ban early voting on evenings and weekends and prohibit same-day registration.
Prompted by the loss of a 2012 Buncombe county commission election due to high student turnout, Republican legislators have clearly decided that it is in their best interest to keep students out of the polls.
Jay DeLancy of the NC Voter Integrity Project, a conservative activist group trying to curb a number of practices that increase voter turnout, issued a press release in favor of the bill, citing the Buncombe county case as evidence.
“That race showed how easily college students can be manipulated like pawns,” DeLancy said in the press release. “These bills will protect students from such abuse.”
Protect from abuse? Or proliferate it? It seems to be the latter as the Republican Party makes yet another transparent attempt to suppress votes for their opponents.