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North Carolina House ending COVID-19 proxy voting practice

May 4, 2021 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina House members no longer have the option to cast floor votes remotely — a result of improving conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House returned this week to operating rules in which members must be present in the chamber to cast “ayes” and “noes.”

House leaders offered proxy voting starting last spring. Members concerned about contracting the coronavirus could vote from their homes or offices through the majority or minority leader. Those emergency operating rules rolled over into the first months of this year’s session.

The number of members using proxy voting has dwindled as more legislators have received coronavirus vaccines. Still, committees can continue to use online technology to conduct hybrid meetings, Speaker Tim Moore said.

The Senate never offered proxy voting but continues to let senators participate in committees online.

Indoor mask wearing has been encouraged but never required in the legislative complex. Legislative building security stopped taking visitors’ temperatures last month.