A North Carolina Senate committee moved forward a bill on Thursday that would put three constitutional amendments on the November general election ballot.

The original version of Senate Bill 630 included a proposed amendment specifying that only US citizens may vote in elections. But the measure was amended during the committee meeting to include two additional amendments. One would build on the voter ID amendment passed in 2018 to require a voter ID for all forms of voting, not just in-person. The second would put a cap on the state income tax of 5% into the state constitution.

To pass, a constitutional amendment must garner a three-fifths majority of support in both chambers of the legislature and a simple majority vote of voters at the ballot box. The three proposed amendments would appear on the ballot as separate items.

Most of the focus of debate in the committee was on the non-citizen voting constitutional amendment. On June 5, the House moved along a similar constitutional amendment. Supporters argue the amendment is needed for further clarify state law and prevent localities from allowing non-citizens to vote.

“Democrats in far-left cities and states are doing everything they possibly can to allow noncitizens to vote in elections,” said Sen. Brad Overcash, R-Gaston, in a statement. “The best defense we can mount against these attacks on democracy is to empower the people of North Carolina to amend their own constitution to state that only U.S. citizens shall vote in our elections.”

“In the era of ‘lawfare’ run rampant, I don’t think we can rely on language that is not exact on this,” said Jim Stirling, research fellow at the John Locke Foundation’s Civitas Center for Public Integrity, during testimony before the Senate committee.

Ann Webb, policy director for Common Cause NC, said the amendment “is driven by conspiracy theories, frankly, about non-citizen voting that are rampant in our politics today and are designed to tear our voters apart rather than helping us see how we can be brought together.”

Sen. Natasha Marcus, D-Mecklenburg, questioned whether the amendment is needed given the existing language surrounding citizen-only voting in state law.

“The North Carolina Constitution’s current language is permissive and doesn’t say ‘only,’” responded Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson. “What we’re seeing is a trend across the country and rumors of it here in North Carolina of allowing non-citizens to vote because court rulings in other places have held similar or the same language to be permissive and not restrictive.”

Recent polling by Carolina Partnership for Reform found support for all three amendments from NC voters: 68% said they would back an amendment on non-citizen voting, 70% favor the expanded requirements surrounding voter ID, 71% would give a green light to reducing the maximum NC income tax rate allowed by the constitution from 7% to 4%.