Legislators Propose Bill to Protect the Rights of the Dying

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  June 19, 2014

Legislators Propose Bill to Protect the Rights of the Dying

Raleigh, NC – House Bill 1267 clarifying that a person can exercise his or her right to vote even while dying passed the House today.  Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) and Reps. David Lewis (R-Harnett) and Jeff Elmore (R-Wilkes) sponsored the bill.

House Bill 1267, named the Everette Harris Act in honor of the late Everette Harris of Forsyth County and son of U.S. Senate candidate Mark Harris, will make clear that a properly cast vote may not be challenged on grounds of the voter dying prior to the canvas date.

Mr. Harris properly cast an absentee ballot before his death but a challenge was raised after his death and his vote was not counted in the May primary.

The challenge to the Harris ballot was made by Steve Mitchell and Carol Conrad, both of Alleghany County. They did it to bring attention to a similar situation involving Mitchell’s cousin who also voted properly during early voting in 2010, but also had his ballot go uncounted because he died before the canvas date.

“This is a common sense provision that clarifies that someone properly voting will have their vote counted,” said Rep. Lewis

The bill has one more reading in the House before it moves to the Senate for concurrence before going to the Governor to sign into law.

Rep. David Lewis is the Chair of the House Elections Committee and currently serving his 6th term.

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