RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Tuesday North Carolina Democrats introduced legislation that would call for a special election if a legislator switches parties.

Tricia Cotham switched parties a few months after being elected earlier in 2023. Some Mecklenburg County residents who voted for her were at the legislative building supporting the bill as they say her switch impacted them.

The bill introduced by Democrats today is called the Voter Fraud Protection Act. It works under two parts. The first part of the bill says if an elected legislator switches parties with six months or more left in their term, they vacate their seat and a special election has to be held. Lawmakers behind the bill say that would give voters the chance to support the legislator in question in their new party or elect someone new.

The second part of the bill says if a legislator switches parties, donors can request a refund and the legislator will be required to return money donated to their campaign under the party they switched from.

There were several references to Representative Cotham with some voters from her district saying they not only voted for her under false premises, but encouraged other voters to do the same.

“The people in my precinct trusted me like I trusted her, and she betrayed that trust by switching parties just three months after being sworn in,” Mary Jane Cotham, one voter, said.

Bill supporters say they don’t expect to see too much movement on the bill this session but they hope Republicans back it as a non-partisan bill.