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North Carolina State Policy Watch – Experts express concerns about consequences of eliminating judicial primary elections By Melissa Boughton

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[Note: This post has been updated.] North Carolinians will lose their “precious right to vote,” as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls it, in at least one election next year if lawmakers override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 656.

“The Electoral Freedom Act” eliminates next year’s primary election for judicial races among other things. It was passed in both chambers last week and Cooper vetoed it earlier this week. His veto will be up for an override vote by January at the latest—though some lawmakers have been told that an override vote could now be scheduled for as early as next Tuesday, October 17.

The only public explanation for the language about eliminating judicial primary elections next year (which was slipped into the bill via a last minute maneuver of the kind that have become commonplace at the General Assembly in recent years) has been to give lawmakers more time to tweak the redrawing of judicial and prosecutorial districts.

That measure, House Bill 717, was passed by House lawmakers and is expected to be taken up by the Senate in January. It was another surprise bill and if implemented will have dramatic effects on the state’s judiciary. Continue reading

 

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