As our house pages today, so you guys look a lot younger today. Members, you have the agenda before you. We’re going to bounce around a little bit to try to accommodate folks’ schedules. The first bill that we’re going to take up today is Senate Bill 406, short title’s repeal laws denied Section 5 preclearance. I do not believe there is a PCS to this bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] There is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] There is? Representative Cotham moves the PCS be before us. Without objection, it is. Senator Brunstetter you’re recognized to explain your bill sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Members, this is a piece of clean up legislation. The bill applies to any city or county ordinance, resolution, act, policy, public or local law that was enacted by the General Assembly for which the U.S. Department of Justice filed an objection under the Voting Rights Act and did not withdraw their objection prior to June 25, 2013. Which was the date of the spring court decision. Basically what this bill does is it clears off of our books a number of statutes and local acts that have never received pre-clearance so it avoids any possibility that they can spring onto our books in case there’s a change there. The Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 4 was the formula used as a basis for determining which jurisdictions were subject to Section 5 pre-clearance. There is no impact from this bill on the current ?? litigation. The bill does not include situations where the U.S. District Court issued a declaratory judgment that such ordinance did not violate the Voting Rights Act, it’s just a piece of clean up legislation. I ask for your support please [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or further debate on the bill if not is there a motion or question, Representative Michaux? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I got a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to state his question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You know I’m going to have a question. Although Section 4 was stricken by the U.S. Supreme Court, why are you, I don’t understand why anything was not been cleared under Section 5, why you using Section 5, I don’t understand that at all? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Michaux? I think actually first of all, the list of these things are things that, some of them date back to 40 some odd years ago and are a series of, sometimes it’s a local district, sometimes it’s annexations. Anything that required preclearance and it’s just sitting on the books. And it is true that when we first filed the bill, the question was whether Section 5 was going to get repealed altogether. I think regardless if whether Section 5 was repealed or Section 4’s impact on Section 5, there’s no reason to have 40 years of these old laws on the books. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So let me understand a little bit further. What you’re doing is those instances where you had a law on the books that was not pre-cleared, I’m understand what you’re doing is you are taking off the books. You are not invalidating anything that was not pre-cleared under Section 5 that went into effect. Am I hearing that right? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If the law went into effect because it received its pre-clearance or however that would work, this does not impact that. This effects laws that have never actually been enacted because they ran into preclearance issues. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One other question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’s the same thing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentlemen wish to ?? another question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. So what is the bottom line effect of what you’re doing here? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The bottom line is it takes probably about 8 pages of laws that have been enacted over the General Assembly over the last 40 some years off the books completely. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, that’s my problem. You said it takes about 8 pages of laws off the books that have been enacted previously on it. That’s what’s bothering me. What these laws are that are being taken off the book? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I can give you a few examples, I’d be happy to do that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’re recognized to do that sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m just reading straight off the list. The list is kept by the Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. There was a literacy test for voter registration dated March 18, 1971. There are laws relating to State and Senate house districts dated July 30, 1971.There is an issue related to districts in the Lumberton city school district from 1975 and the list just goes on and on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman wish to ask an additional question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. Because I want this to be, for instance, the first one you mentioned, the literacy test thing. There’s a bill in it here now to remove that from the Constitution. That’s a Constitutional thing, even though it’s not effective, it’s still in the Constitution. This does not pull this out of the Constitution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My understanding is that this law was never enacted, it never received pre-clearance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But it’s still a part of.
our constitution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I defer to you on that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well I can show it to you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m sure you can, I’ve seen your constitution before. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not mine, ours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman may state additional questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m just concerned that there were some laws that were not precleared that actually stayed and kept other laws in effect that those laws would have cleared up. I’m just having a problem with that, Mr. Chairman. I know that there’s a majority here that’s going to take of this situation anyway, but I just want to voice my objection to it at this juncture. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Michaux. Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My guess is, and I’d be happy to provide you with my copy of the list when we’re done, I would imagine that you would not want to be in a position of supporting keeping these laws on the books after you take a look at this list. [SPEAKER CHANGES] There are some that I may want to stay on there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ll be interested to hear that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate from the committee. Representative Fisher, you’re recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a question, and maybe it would be appropriate to ask of staff or the bill’s sponsor, either one. I am not an attorney, I don’t play one on TV, but I would like to know if we pass this bill, what other...because of the Supreme Court decision, what sort of retroactive kind of effect will this have on bills that we already passed that were subject to preclearance? Now that the Supreme Court has done its business, what, and this is to either staff or the sponsor, what laws could this affect that have already been passed based on pre-clearance? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I think what you’re question is outside the scope of what this bill does so I’d be happy to defer to staff. I haven’t read the whole decision. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One of you all want to take a stab at it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For any bill that had already been denied preclearance, the decision does not directly address that, but as this bill would do with clean up, it would clarify it so there would be no lingering questions as to whether those bills would be revived. The US Department of Justice has posted on their website a notice on section five provisions and what they have said is, with respect to submissions under section five pending as of June 25th or received after that date, they are informing people that the coverage formula has been struck down and accordingly, no determination will be made under section five by the attorney general on the specified change. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just a quick follow up, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’re recognized for a follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Supreme Court decision doesn’t have any effect on those laws that were already passed that were subject preclearance under section five. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] On the face of the decision, it would not appear to deal with anything that had already been denied preclearance. This bill would resolve any lingering questions and would prevent litigation on that point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate? The Chair will accept a motion. The gentleman from Stanly has a motion as I understand. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I move that we give the proposed Committee House Substitute to Senate Bill 406 favorable report. Unfavorable as to original. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’ve heard the motion. All in favor of the motion please signify by saying aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Those opposed, no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The ayes have it and the bill is given a favorable report. Thank you, Senator Brunstetter. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, appreciate it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The next bill on our calendar is going to be House Bill 436, Gubernatorial Team Ticket. Is this a PCS? There is a PCS. The PCS is before and unless I hear an objection. Hearing no objection the PCS is before the committee. Representative Jones you are recognized to explain your bill, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, House Bill 436 is entitled Gubernatorial Team Ticket. Basically it would provide and the proposed Committee Substitute is for a study for the Joint Legislative Elective Oversight Committee. The bill would provide for a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot. It would amend the constitution to require the Governor and the Lt. Governor to run as a team in the fall election. I would tell you that in the 43 states that elect a Lt. Governor, 26 of them have the Governor and Lt. Governor run as a team. I’m not suggesting we should do it because the majority of states do, but the reason I believe the majority of states do is the same reason that the President and the Vice President of the United States run together as a time. Quite honestly, the proponents of this bill do not believe that it’s a healthy situation...
?? that the governor and lieutenant governor be of opposite parties. Now, I will further stay that of the states that do this there is two different ways basically. The way that our Bill had proposed and that we would take to the study since this is now a proposed study would actually have the citizens of North Carolina continue to elect the Lieutenant Governor in the primary who would then join the Governor on the file ticket. There are other states that allow the Governor to choose his running mate, if you will. I guess that's something we can talk about in the study. We felt like that it would be appropriate since the citizens of North Carolina already chose the candidate for Lieutenant Governor for them to continue to do that. I will stop at that point. I am happy to defer to any questions. I will tell you that both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor told me that they support this. The Bill and the way that it's written would not come into effect until the 2020 election so it wouldn't effect the current office holders anyway as it is now; but again, the PCS has a study for this and Mr. Chairman I'd be happy to answer any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Representative Fisher do you have a question to the bill sponsor. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: You may state your question. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I have a question and I may have a follow up as well. How is this stated in the Constitution? So, if I know this is going to be a constitutional amendment, a vote, it's going to be put to a vote. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: It's actually just a study. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: A study, gotcha. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: It's just a study now. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Then let me ask my follow up. I heard you refer to the idea that a situation where we have a republican governor and a democratic lieutenant governor might be unhealthy. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Or visa-verse. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Or visa-verse and I guess I think back to the Hunt Hulshizer's days and wonder if you have had input from folks who thought that that was a particularly unhealthy situation. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: I think you're probably talking about when Lieutenant Governor Gardner was elected and was a republican under Hunt. Is that correct? Hunt Hulshizer, okay. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Right. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: I would just suggest that I have not talked, of course, Governor Hulshizer is recently deceased, I have not talked with Governor Hunt. People that believe this is a good deal simply believe that the person who is next in line to the Governor's Mansion should the Governor not be able to perform his duties should be of the same party, similar to the Vice-President of the United States. We think that's a good policy. I don't really necessarily want to go back to the example that we had in history where we had a republican lieutenant governor under a democrat governor but I think the politics that occurred in that situation were not good, and I think it would just be better if we had the lieutenant governor be the same party as the governor, and I think most people understand that reasoning. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Further discussion on the Bill. Representative Michaux is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Mr. Chairman I understand the Bill has been really cut back from its original purpose and this is just a study commission and I don't have problems with a study commission because I know how far they go sometimes. So, if you want to motion for it, I make the motion that we give it a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Representative ?? do you have a question of the Bill's process sir? [SPEAKER CHANGES]: I actually do. I'm just curious. I think the original Bill was good Bill and I'm curious why we would change it to a study Bill, especially since we know that the lower chamber is not inclined to pass study Bills? [SPEAKER CHANGES]: That would be a question for the Bill sponsor. I believe that was probably a consensus of house leadership and quite honestly it's not an urgent Bill that has to be passed before we leave here this session. We are in July and it is something we can take up as a study and look at when we come back into session next year. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Representative Michaux is recognized for motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: I move that the proposed Committee Substitute for House Bill 436 be given a favorable report. The original one an unfavorable. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: You've heard the motion. All in favor please signify by saying aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it. The Bill is given a favorable report. While you're there, why don't we go ahead and get House Bill 607 a required use of paper box. This is also a PCS if you want to send forth a PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? we have the original Bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Members by the way of explanation House Bill 607 imagine that you are considering the committee has taken up to this point.
is not the time is hostile to 27 From legend, you're recognized by the bill for making too many members of the committee health bill fixes seven with any time by the paper ballot elections in North Carolina comment from the had the opportunity to read the I mailed out that the blade knife in an earlier today, and(SPEAKER CHANGES) I'm not sure all members of time figuring out to decide that, taken from me with CT data and they have a controversial issue for several years he has happened is that the paper ballot, I'm Alex Hewlett stated a little each party if not more leading nonpartisan organizations that if the level action integrity major people, write to the layout time of life and political spectrum for this is not confirm that if you're a liberal a fee of one of the operate two backup lead to 40 people require use of paper ballots he would try make the family organizations limited by the committee would have been on the toward an error there a way in an era of time, light said, just a click of politics is now partition the way he cannot confirm it would release the demand time in five back in order to better protect the integrity that we should generate an actual paper ballots not simply a paper trail for paper of record at this time two of a couple of paragraphs to do we allow the latter that more than a Leon organization finding that fit the Congress enacted the matter that that's what I'm in the way back from the believe in 2002 for 2007 for this is not a time they could get a two way beyond from a limitation fed board , if Congress to enact you better wait time too quick to protect the integrity of our elections law there may vary the pain from 3 to 5 lifetime nine as morphine two to the accuracy of violations and competence, unlike you'd think there'd be a paper ballot for everyday not a paper trail more paper record the paper ballots that a crime must be in the actual attack delay in poorer to determine the initial results of the election day, this time at 13 quickly to allow believe that two of those that do not incorporate a time not wait for a fundamental principles that democratic election should have been one of the time talents it is impossible for 15th to observe the county electronic ballot in all adults time number two is people access is audible they're applying the detachment from computer discriminates against that(SPEAKER CHANGES) if you're not familiar with that technology incorporated I'm still it is impossible to ensure that the reported results are accurate time activated there about possible paper trail cannot be the pentagon to provide a fair deal of time a comic talents they've been clear evidence from elections ever many years of intensive better deal than 50 time unexplained not reflecting the inventors of ATF electronic have not matched in the paper trail produced by the day trying the family review for a not mention the paper trail produced by the Danish A Myers not knowing and air time for a long been prevented from doing fed of the properties that encourage that are now pushing the plan could be the fifth and intraday unnecessarily, complex into the body,-profit I'm raising the likelihood of a list of acres of all workers relation officials and computerized lighting relinquishing control, welcome to the chemicals time in two programs software that's what we paid compensation 5212 of these ideas that it can be done it will be, it hadn't been done a good guy, timely, the pilot program faints more of a lot smarter than I am technology is for the time the knowledge to make the column that he made in order to have reliable traceable observable profits being made at the high ??..............
paper ballot. Again, there are many studies about this. You don't have to go very far on the internet to see that there are groups all over the spectrum that believe that this is the case. I will get to what I think is the most controversial part of it, and that is some cost. We do have 36 counties in this state that use DRE machines. Direct, recording, electronic touch screen systems. I am sympathetic to the idea that it costs some money to replace those machines. The physical note says that there would be a projected cost if you included replacing the machines, providing additional machines for people that are disabled and not able to do a hand ?? ballot, if you will, plus the cost of the ballots themselves. It probably would approach 11 million dollars. Perhaps this group may decide that we need to take this and do it as a study. If we do, I would hope that we would at the very least provide for moratorium on buying new DRE machines. By the way, these DRE machines are illegal in several states. I looked at a map online just a little while ago, trying to determine how many, and I believe there are about 19 states that do require paper ballots. What we're talking about here is not something unusual at all. I would simply suggest, that if we are serious about voter integrity, that there are many people that feel like this is probably one of the most important issues we can deal with. I do believe that it would be very possible for machines to be manipulated. I've had conversations with some of our representatives, and they say "we trust our people at the board of elections, they're good people" it has nothing to do with that. We are talking about the integrity of the machine being used itself. We're not talking about the people operating the machines or putting them out there, let's make that very clear. We're not impugning anybody, or anybody's character or anything like that. We're simply saying that if the machine is doing the work, machines can be manipulated, and the technology exists and I believe the will is out there for someone to try to change the results of an election by using that way. Again, I'm open to answer any questions you may have. Again, there is a PCS we could consider that would put this in a study, and quite frankly I'm fine with that, as long as that includes a moratorium on buying new machines. Because, part of what the bill itself would be intending to do, would be to replace the machines, at least over time. Maybe we don't get it done for the 2014 election, maybe it's 2016. We do need to be sensitive to the cost, we need to understand that somehow we need to pay for this. I will also like to say that ?? are available and can be used for this purpose, and that is part of the physical note we have. So that would be one way to certainly help to fund that. With that Mr. Chairman, I'll defer to any questions that you or the committee might have. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative ?? You have a question for the bill and sponsor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have a couple questions and comment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You are recognized for your questions and comment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The type of ballots you're referring to, that would be the scantron machines, that are scanned by machines? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The most common one that I'm most familiar with, and the one that we use in my county for instance. We mark a paper ballot, we fill in next to the persons name, and there's a machine that counts that ballot, but you have an actual paper ballot that you mark, and the majority of the counties in the state use that kind of system. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. On the touch screens, which we are very familiar with in my county. If you touch the wrong one by mistake, it has a big check mark. It prompts you to "oops you did the wrong one, you better punch the other one" and the other check mark goes away. What do you do if you, when you fill in a bubble, what do you do if mark the wrong one there, how do you [SPEAKER CHANGES] You take it back and get another ballot. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And if you don't realize it, and you haven't been prompted by the paper ballot. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You can't take away the operator error. If I go in to vote, and I make a mistake and I mark the wrong person and turn it in, that's my fault. We're trying to take away the fault of the machine. We can't change me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For comment, Mr. Chairman [SPEAKER CHANGES] You're recognized for debate, Representative ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I've had a recent conversation with both my, soon to be, chairman
[Speaker Change] Board of Elections, who’s been on the Board of Elections for fifteen years, twenty years. But will be the Chairman as of next Tuesday. And our Republican County Chairman. And both of them think this is a terrible idea. We’ve been used to our touch screens. It has problems with peoples fingernails going over the line and it’s because they were prompted to make a correction by the machine, if they’re paying attention. [??] paper roll that is double checked at random on that machine and you can look down and see who you voted for on the last race there. My wife worked in the scantronic era in the nineties, early nineties, at the poll and it took two or three extra hours. That took her time because they had to do, scan everything all over again. Maybe that’s the exception but they had to scan everything all over again. It two, three extra hours and I was sitting there waiting for her from about eight thirty to about eleven thirty. And they actually incorporated me to help. I wasn’t even sworn in. That’s another issue. I think when e are retraining poll workers, we’ll be losing poll workers. I mean it’s enough hours now. From six thirty to seven thirty. Thirteen, fourteen hour day. I’m all for a lot of your other Bills. I’m not for this Bill. And Representative Jones, if you would consider the study, or at very least, grandfather in those counties that are using these machines, grandfather them in for some time period to give them a chance. We’ll be spending a million dollars, by the way, by the estimate of the Board of Elections soon to be Chair. Bout a half a million dollars in my average size County of twenty seven Precincts. So if you consider grandfathering our counties in, it would be easier to vote for this. At this point, unless it’s a study, I certainly couldn’t, can’t support it. I’m sorry. [Speaker Change] Mr. Chairman, if I could respond. [Speaker Change] You may. [Speaker Change] Kay. First of all, I will ask that we’ll consider the PCS. It will be amended however that it will provide for a moratorium in buying new DRE machines. Any machines bought at this point would require an electronic ballot while we’re doing that study. [Speaker Change] Does the gentleman wish to move that the PCS be before the committee now instead of the original Bill? [Speaker Change] Yes sir, I move [??] PCS. [Speaker Change] Is there an objection for the PCS being before the committee? An objection was made. All in favor of the motion to bring the PCS forward the committee please signify by saying aye. All opposed no. The ayes have it. The PCS is properly before the committee. Gentleman may continue his explanation on the PCS. [Speaker Change] Thank you Mr. Chairman, if I could continue, you know, this is the Elections Committee. I think, quite honestly, it’s our job to determine whether this is good policy. I am concerned about the cost. I think that ultimately decide if this is good policy, how we best fund it. And perhaps it goes to Finance for Administration, or Appropriations or both. But I will say this; I think we have to work with folks to make sure that we’re not placing a substantial burden on our counties. However, I think ultimately, what this committee needs to decide and what the House and the Senate will need to decide if it goes this far. I mean what is the true price of free, fair, reliable, accurate, and transparent elections in our State? I mean that’s the bottom line. Is this a good policy? If this is a good policy, I believe we’ll find a way to adequately fund it and quite honestly the dollars we’re talking about, in the context of the State budget is pretty small. I do believe that it is a policy worth pursuing. Obviously we just put it into a study so we don’t have to spend a lot of time today. But I would ask for your support for the PCS as it will be amended. [Speaker Change] The, just by way of explanation, PCS is before us. I think staff is working on an amendment and you may want to take a look at that before sending it forth. I had several hands raised. Are there, these are the hands I had raised, I’m going in the order I saw them and if any of you want to come off now that it’s a study Bill let me know. I had [??], Fisher, Conrad, Avila, Michaux, and Floyd. In that order. Okay. And Graham on there also. Anybody else want to come off? Alright, Representative [??], you are recognized. Do you have a question for the Bill’s [??] or wish to debate the Bill. [Speaker Change] I wanted to debate the Bill. [Speaker Change] Gentleman is recognized to debate the Bill. [Speaker Change] I’d like to, I’d like to say that I don’t, I don’t need to see the studies and, and, and everything else. And I don’t think we need to do a study. What we need to do is act on this. I can tell you from my own experience, for the last three Presidential elections, when I went in to vote, I would hit my choice of President several times before, and it would show up the opponent’s name, it would be lighted up. And I’m not an idiot. I’m good on computers.
I know I hit the spot where it's supposed to be two or three times and then I would call the election workers over and they would mess with it, it would do the same thing so they have to shut that machine down we have to go to another machine. At some point electronic voting's gonna be the way to go. But right at this juncture in North Carolina we don't have a system that's completely reliable. There have been many complaints that's because I have been involved just like many of you have and I have had many, many, many complaints on these machines doing the same thing. I think we do need to go to a paper ballot and when I did find to go to another machines and cast my vote and it appeared to work right. There was nothing that they could show me in my hand that tells me which way my votes were cast. I felt uncomfortable, I know that they have got it on the little roll in the machine and you can see your last one or two votes on there but there is nothing that they can give you to show you all of your votes and which way they were cast. And I think the smart thing for us to do because that's why we were send up here is to make these decisions you and I and most everybody sit in this room knows that this Study Bills not going to the Senate. They are not gonna approve it, they don't like Study Bills and that's just the way it has been this session. I would like to recommend that that we do not, that that we give a fair, uh, unfavourable to this PCS and we support the original bill and do paper ballots until if and when the state comes up with equipment that's reliable enough to record our votes accurately. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Conrage you recognize to debate bill or ask question the bill first. [SPEAKER CHANGES] While I'm happy to support the promotes committee substitute, I was also concerned about the cause my County had did contacted me that would be a better half a million dollars. After the hanging chair problem in Florida, that most county did invest all types of equipment and I don't disagree with you at all the optical scan is, is the best equipment and we purchased that for the election day what has caused the complications in the type of equipment used is only though they uh, we have a 101 ? and that's multiple different combinations of ballots and an early loading we felt the electronic was the best way to pull up the appropriate ballot for the vast mix of people that should come in and the door and I don't sure if they and the one that has an individual ballot. But that has been part of complication and I do support your moratorium, because this equipment is expensive and we don't want another Boards or Commissioners going out there and adding to our buying some type of equipment that our Committee will decide, it's not gonna be appropriate. So, I do think we need a factor and either both the, the fact that you do have to have the curbs of voting and the type of equipment that is required for that as well as the complications of early voting and what we might be doing in regards to early voting, you know, it's excessively long and in my opinion and those are some other factors that I think are contributing to the accuracy, the election statement far beyond the actual equipment choice and hopefully some of those other factors are being the future as well. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Avley, you recognize to debate the bill order or to ask a question on the bills sponsor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman, I have a question but it is actually representative Oiler, [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the Gentlemen, now I ? you to use [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, representative of oiler, Here in our county we do use the scantronic where as the paper ballot to scan through, when you use the type of machine that use how do you handle a recount [SPEAKER CHANGES] There are types that are produced as a paper trial so type in the machine you can see as you vote and then it is capped and actually there is a random our hand count done before campus that inputs timus? as 10 days later where the Counts provisions them all there and so that's how you do recount as you go back to the each individual low for the optical rays for two rolls or whatever it is [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may, you may state to follow up [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you above count every one of the votes that were cast, do you run it through the machine or do you take a statistical analysis of who how people voted. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay for a recount you, they go back through every roll in the arrays that was produced and tying to the total vote count. They as far as the thank you for some other kinda account. What was that, there is a random hand account as a check before the campus. If there is a recount they have to go through every single vote on the roll [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, that's, that was bump clarification, [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up [SPEAKER CHANGES] When you have to do a recount you take the tape out and somebody sits there and just like we do here in ? where the paper ballot and we have a paper ballot and we say so and so know,
so-and-so, yes. ?? you do that for every vote that was cast on that tape. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, one person eye-balls the tape and announces it and the other one checks it off. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Michaux, you are recognized to debate the bill, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Mr. Chairman. I'm glad we got rid of that other bill. I want to make sure that on the amendment to this bill that when you talk about putting a moratorium on the ??printer machine that you're not putting a moratorium on the printers of office scan machines, other machines to scan ballots. [SPEAKER CHANGES] They're making some changes right back here, now. That's why I called both of these gentlemen up, to try to help with the state ??board to make sure, they're going to try to come up- the amendment's not before us, so we want to make sure that the amendment language- [SPEAKER CHANGES] That was what my concern was, was that, to be sure you put in there that you're not talking about the Opti-scan machines. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Did y'all hear that? You're talking about the DRE? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah. If you're talking about just the DREs and not the Opti-scan machines, I don't have a problem with that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Blust, I've got some votes in front of you, but I'll go ahead and take you if it's on this point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ask if we could displace this while they work on it and get to Senate Bill 317. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, we can probably do that. Are there any- Let me ask you this. Are there any members who desire comment at this time about the bill before getting to the amendment? I had several folks who-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] OK. So you're all fine. As a matter of fact, I'll go ahead and ask. I have Floyd, Graham, Cunningham, Iler again, and then Ford. Do you members still wish to comment on the bill when we come back to it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [multiple speakers] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Alright. We'll do this, we'll displace it temporarily. Representative Jones, if you want to work on that. Our other bill is Senate Bill 317. There is a PCS for Senate Bill 317 that the gentleman from Guilford, Representative Blust, moves before us. All in favor of the PCS being before us, please signify by saying aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it. The bill is before us. Senator Wade, you're recognized to explain your bill, ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm really not that familiar with the PCS, so if it's okay with the Chair, we'll let Representative Hardister. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hardister, you're recognized to explain the bill, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Faircloth, are you going to weigh-in, also? OK. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. Senate Bill 317, basically redistricts and reforms the Guilford County Board of Education. The bill has come over from the Senate. We've prepared a PCS for the House. Representative Faircloth and I have primarily been the two Representatives who have worked on this PCS. Essentially what it does, if you look at the bill summary before you, and I can see that you have the maps in front of you, this would reduce the Guilford County Board of Education from 11 members to 9, and it would match the maps with the Board of Commissioners. You may recall that in 2011, the General Assembly redistricted the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, and we reduced the Board from 11 members to 9, eliminated 1 district and 1 at-large. Currently the Guilford County Board of Commissioners has 8 districts and 1 at-large position. This would match those districts. And what I believe that would do is it would make government more efficient, because if you're a citizen of Guilford County, the person who represents you on the Board of Commissioners and the person who represents you on the Board of Education would represent the same area. So it would make it easier for the citizens to communicate with their elected officials, make it easier for the two governing bodies to communicate. There's two other notable provisions of the bill. One is that the terms would be 4 years. The original Senate Bill 317 would reduce the term to 2 years, but we would keep them at 4, match them and stagger them in accordance with the County Commissioners. You'll see if you look at the bill, and staff can explain this better than I can, but I believe in the 2014 elections all the members would run on 2 year terms to reset it and then go back to 4 years after that. The third element is partisan elections. The PCS before you would put partisan elections to the voters as a referendum, so the voters of Guilford County could decide whether or not they want their Board of Education to be partisan. With that, I'll be glad to take questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do we have any questions for the bill sponsor? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Michaux, please state your inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Your delegation in full support of this? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No, sir. My understanding is that the three- we have six members of our delegation. The three Republican Representatives, which is myself, Representative Blust and Faircloth, support it.
The three democratic members, Representatives Adams, Brandon and Harrison I believe are in opposition to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Alright. Representative Faircloth, you are recognized to comment on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We probably should ask Representative Harrison, and anyone else here of those three to speak for their selves and not… [SPEAKER CHANGES]: The chair intends to call Representative Harrison in just a few minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: I would point out that we want to thank Senator Wade for sending this bill over there, ?? and disagreements of how we get to a different system with a school board. We do have some members from back home. Mr. Chairman, might want to say a word about the appreciation of having you be here. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: We’ll do that. And I’m noticing the time. Let’s do this. Let’s go ahead and take comment from the members of the public hearing and Representative Harrison, I’ll come back after. Do we have any members of the public who would like to speak? If so, just simply approach the mic, introduce yourself, where you’re from, who you’re representing, and any comments you’d like to make about this particular legislation. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. My name is Rebecca Buffington, a member of the Guilford County Board of Education, new member to the board, and I appreciate the opportunity to speak today. We thank our representative Faircloth, and Harrison, Hardister, for their taking a look at this bill and trying to provide amendments to it that would make it a little easier for the ?? to accept. But the school board maintains its opposition to this bill in the first place. Mostly, moving this board to a partisan board, we feel very strongly about this. Many of you in here are educators, or have affected the life of a child, and have made decisions about children. I share the political affiliation with most of you that are in this room, and I’ve been asked to make a lot of difficult decisions that affect 73,000 students in Guildford county. And have asked myself on a number of occasions if I was concerned about my political affiliation rather than making a child centered decision, if my vote would be different. And in most cases, I believe it would be. I don’t believe there’s any room for politics when we’re making child centered decisions. I appreciate the effort to keep this at a four year term. I want to point out that school years don’t follow election terms. A two year term would mean that school board members would only be there for one school year. I think many of you would agree that if your election cycle caused you to be here in session for one term, it would make you ineffective. I agree with matching districts with county commissioners. I agree with that because we have a very good working relationship with our county commissioners. We’re actually very proud of that in Guilford County. And we don’t really argue with moving from eleven members to nine members, but we do ask you to carefully, carefully consider making a school board partisan. Senator Wade has shared with us that she brought this bill because she was feeling pressure from the residents of Guilford County to do this. But I would point out that the night before, a legislative breakfast with Guilford county delegations school board, she introduced this legislation, caught the entire delegation off guard. And I point that out because if the citizens of Guilford County were demanding this, it shouldn’t have caught her colleagues off guard. We have got a stream of editorials in both the Greensboro and High Point Paper. There have been a steady stream of letters to the editor. There’s been a steady stream of email of citizens demanding that the one point of this bill that their school board not be moved to a partisan school board. I believe the High Point Enterprise did an opinion poll. Nearly 89% of the community said that this should be a referendum, that they should be able to weigh in, that they didn’t want their school board to be partisan. So I would ask you to… [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Ma’am, I’m going to have to let the members comment. Representative Harrison, you are recognized to briefly speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Thank you Mr. Chair and thank you, Representative Hardister and Faircloth for toning down what was really a very problematic senate bill. But I’m still opposed. I’ve heard no favorable comments from constituents in favor of this bill, and it will only hurt opposition.
...and we've got a unanimous opposition from our school board. I think this is another example of unnecessary meddling in local government affairs, and for purposes which I think is quite shameful. I think what we did to the board of commissioners last session was unconscionable, and this is just following in the footsteps of that. I think it is a terrible bill. I hope you'll vote no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Burr, recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Chairman. I move that we give the proposed committee substitute senate bill 317 a favorable report, unfavorable as to the original. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You've heard the motion. All in favor of the motion, please signify by saying, aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed, no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In the opinion of the chair, the "ayes" have it. The "ayes" do have it. The bill is given a favorable report. Members, it is just a few minutes past 15 till, and to our rules, we need to go ahead and adjourn. We will re-notice you as far as house bill 436. Representative Jones, I don't know if you want to try to do this today, or some other day? We'll talk on the four. For now, we stand adjourned.