Chapel Hill’s Town Council joined UNC students Monday in support of early voting and student voting rights.
An N.C. House bill would shorten early voting periods, end same-day voter registration and require students to vote in their home county or by absentee ballot. A second, Senate bill would keep parents from claiming students as dependents on their taxes if they register to vote in another county or register their vehicles at a different address.
Shelby Hudspeth, director of state and external affairs for UNC’s Student Body, said the proposed legislation would negatively affect student voting rights and create a tax burden on parents. Similar resolutions have been sent to more than a hundred House and Senate members, news outlets and others, she said.
“UNC students consider the town of Chapel Hill their home. Many of us are active in the community, whether it’s through volunteering, having a job on Franklin Street or spending time on Franklin Street, so we feel that we should be able to participate actively through voting in elections here,” she said.
Before the council voted, Council member Matt Czajkowski pointed out that the town's support probably wouldn’t carry any authority with the state.
“Do you think that the town of Chapel Hill endorsing this will strengthen or weaken your position with (House) Speaker (Thom) Tillis and (Senate) President (Pro Tem Phil) Berger? If it were up to me, for what it’s worth, I wouldn’t start here,” he said.