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Voter Registration Bill Passes

Voter Registration Law
Citizens who miss the voter registration deadline before an election can cast ballots during the closing days of a campaign in legislation approved in the Legislature Wednesday.

If Governor Easley signs the bill into law, North Carolina would
join seven other states to allow people to register and cast a
ballot immediately before an election or on Election Day.

State law currently ends voter registration 25 days before an
election. But the bill allows residents to go to one-stop voting
sites where they already can vote early. They can register and then
vote right away in the final two and a half weeks before an
election. There's at least one early-voting site in every county.

The measure was delayed after State Auditor Les Merritt said
preliminary findings of a review of the state's voter rolls raised
concerns. But the State Board of Elections said the findings of
potential voter fraud were based on faulty assumptions.

Reporting Child Pornography
A bill that orders film processors and computer technicians to report child pornography while on the job is now awaiting Governor Easley's signature.

The House voted 116-to-nothing to approve Senate modifications.

Film developers and computer workers would be required to tell
authorities if, while working, they find images that appear to show
minors engaging in sexual activity.

The worker who finds those images can tell a person designated
by the employer who in turn will alert law enforcement. The bill
grants the person who contacts authorities immunity from civil or
criminal liability that might result from the report.

The report can be made to local law enforcement or to the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Another bill being considered by lawmakers would require sex
offenders to include any e-mail addresses or other online
identifiers when they submit information to the state sex offender
registry.

Motorcycle Red Light Turns
Frustrated motorcyclists are getting some relief thanks to a measure that barely rolled through the Legislature Wednesday.

At intersections where the traffic signal is controlled by a sensor in the pavement, bikers would be allowed to make a left turn on red if they've waited three minutes for the light to change and if no other vehicles and pedestrians are in sight.

The Senate unanimously approved the measure in May. But it was a
different story in the House, where some members felt the proposal
would give bikers the right to scoff at the law.

The House initially approved the measure 80-to-34 on June 20th,
but members then sent it to the Transportation Committee.

That committee gave the measure its blessing last week and sent
it back to the full House, where the same resistance arose today
before the chamber voted 61-to-55 to send the bill to Governor
Easley's desk. If he signs it, the law would take effect December
first.

Adoption Records
Lawmakers have approved a bill that could
help adult adoptees or their biological parents get formal
assistance from an adoption agency to determine their identities.

The bill allows an adoption agency to act as a "confidential
intermediary" between an adoptee age 21 or older and a biological
parent. With written permission from both sides, the agency could
bring about contact between the parent and child or share
identifying information.

The House measure was approved unanimously by the Senate and is
now headed to Governor Easley to be signed. It also allows an
agency to obtain and share non-identifying information between the
two sides. Family medical information also could be sought by a
child's adoptive parents.

Many adoption advocates and birth parents had wanted the
legislation to go farther by eliminating a 1949 law that prevented
adult adoptees from gaining access to their original birth
certificates.


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