“Democracy is on the line!” It’s a phrase we’ve been hearing ad nauseam over the last few years from Democrats and left-leaning advocacy groups. The intent of this banal, albeit catchy, phrase was likely to persuade voters to support Democrat-aligned candidates. However, the left’s most dogmatic members have taken more drastic, and ironic, measures to “save democracy” — attempting to ban their opposition from the ballot.

They’ve taken this approach of barring opponents from the ballot at the national level, with Colorado attempting to ban former President Donald Trump from that state’s primary ballot. And sadly, North Carolina is not exempt from dubious actions to bar candidates from the ballot.

Here in North Carolina, we have seen leftists impersonate third-party officials in an attempt to keep them off the ballot in 2022. Democrats prevented primary challengers to President Joe Biden by blocking Democratic presidential candidates from the ballot. They also attempted to ban Trump from the primary ballot, just like in Colorado. When that attempt failed, due to the State Board of Elections lacking the authority to do so, Democrat state Sen. Jay Chaudhuri filed a bill that, if it had passed, would have ensured that Trump wasn’t on the ballot.

Sadly, this perversion of democracy does not seem to be slowing down.

Recently, Chaudhuri filed a bill that would make the Republican candidate for superintendent of public instruction ineligible for the office.

Chaudhuri’s bill proposed that the superintendent of public instruction “must have at least one year of experience as a teacher or school administrator in this State or a member of a local board of education or the State Board of Education.” This bill leaves little doubt that it targets Republican candidate Michelle Morrow.

This legislation would apply to nominees “who have been selected to serve as a political party’s candidate for election on or after that date” it becomes law. While there can be some debate over whether this language would make it apply only to future candidates for office or not, the fact that the bill would also allocate $10,000 this fiscal year in nonrecurring funds to the State Board of Elections for implementing the law suggests it is intended to affect this year’s election.

This 11th-hour change goes against the very concept of a democratic process. Morrow was selected as the Republican nominee by primary voters to serve as their choice in the November election. Barring her from the ballot would be denying the will of primary voters and blocking general election voters from having an option on the ballot.

That a legislator would file such a bill is bad enough. I am left more discouraged by the state Democratic Party doubling down on their support of the bill.

Even if a change in the qualifications for superintendent of public instruction were desirable, changes to constitutional offices would likely require the General Assembly to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot and for the people of North Carolina to vote on it. This was the case in 1984 for North Carolina’s attorney general, when voters passed a constitutional amendment to require candidates for that office to be licensed lawyers in the state.

While this bill is highly unlikely to become law with a Republican majority in the legislature, it continues the dangerous message North Carolina Democrats have been sending these last few years: If we can’t beat you on the ballot, we will block you from the ballot.