Raleigh, NC -- Using Easter imagery, various voting rights groups railed Friday against proposals to cut back early voting and eliminate same-day registration in North Carolina.
Sen. Jerry Tillman, R- Randolph, and Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, filed bills this week that would reduce the early voting period from two weeks to one and eliminate same-day voter registration. Starnes' proposal also would outlaw early voting on Sunday and straight-ticket voting.
"The legislature is trying to crucify voting rights in this state," said Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president.
While millions of people are focused on love and charity during Holy Week, Barber said, Republican lawmakers are trying to divide people and act as tyrants.
"We know that if you push truth down, it gets up and resurrects itself. If you push justice down, it gets up and resurrects itself," he said.
Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said early voting isn't a partisan tool, noting that both Republicans and Democrats like the flexibility it offers. More than 2 million voters, or about 57 percent of those who voted statewide, used one-stop sites in the 2012 general election.
But young and black voters are more likely to be affected by the loss of same-day registration, Hall said, which would disproportionately hit Democrats.