A trio of state Senators introduced a bill this week that hits each of the goals of the Art Pope-Civitas-Americans for Prosperity agenda for voting: Senate Bill 657 would kill pre-registration for teenagers, repeal Same Day Registration, cut down the days and hours for in-person Early Voting, cripple out-of-precinct provisional voting, but allow organized campaigns for mail-in absentee voting, which is the one area where Republicans consistently out-perform Democrats. Two of the Republican bill sponsors (Sen. Ralph Hise and Sen. Jim Davis) gained their election largely because they ranked Number 1 and Number 2 in receiving the most support from the Civitas-AFP-Pope-funded outside electioneering groups and Pope family contributions; they got an astonishing $580,000 worth of support. Rock the Vote provides a useful summary of this bill, calling it “A New Low in North Carolina” that will particularly harm young voters. Meanwhile, a new report analyzing first-time voters in 2008 shows that nearly two thirds were under age 30 and 54% were white and had some college education – but the growth in their numbers over 2004 came from first-time voters who were non-white and never attended college. The liberal leanings of first-time voters, particularly in 2008, may be one reason the Pope-Civitas conservatives in the NC General Assembly are so hostile to youth civic engagement.