Democrats in North Carolina introduced a bill on Tuesday that would implement a special election for legislators who switch parties during their term.
The bill is referred to as the Voter Fraud Protection Act and has a two-part process in which legislators can switch parties within six months or more left in their term, relinquish their seat and force a special election to occur. Secondly, donors have the opportunity to request a refund on any money donated to the legislator’s campaign under the party they switched from and the legislator is required to return it, local station CBS 17 reported.
The bill comes a few months after Republican North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham switched parties after being elected earlier in the year, according to CBS 17. North Carolina Democrats say the special election will give voters an option to support the legislator in question in their new party or elect someone new. However, voters in Cotham’s district are saying they voted for her under false premises, according to CBS 17.
“The people in my precinct trusted me like I trusted her, and she betrayed that trust by switching parties just three months after being sworn in,” one voter said.
As of May of this year, three state legislators have switched their political party affiliation, all of which have made the swap from running as a Democrat to a Republican.
Those supporting the bill say they are not positive that it will have much movement this session, but are hoping that it will be backed by Republicans as a nonpartisan bill going forward.
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