State of Elections

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Tag: Justin Moore

Unlikely Challenge: North Carolina Election Challenge Procedures and Write-In Candidates

by Justin Moore

You can’t beat somebody with nobody”. On Election Day 2012, President Obama was re-elected, and North Carolina elected a Republican Governor for the first time in two decades. But there were thousands of other races further down the ballot, ones that are barely noticed by the public. In one of the most competitive counties in a swing state, on the last race on the ballot, a very odd thing happened. There was an election for an office that no one ran for. This election, for Watauga County Soil and Water Supervisor, had only write-in candidates since no one officially filed to run. Of the 27,764 ballots cast in Watauga County, only 1,839 voted in the race, all write in votes.  The election was won by Chris Stevens, a college student who registered to vote in September in Watauga County. The ineligible candidate discussed by this post, Alan Teitleman, finished fifth. Continue reading

The Battleground 2012: The Public Financing of Judicial Candidates in North Carolina after Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett

by Justin Moore

In 2002, North Carolina passed the Judicial Campaign Reform Act (JCRA). A major part of this law created a system for the public financing of all statewide judicial races in North Carolina. The fund is paid for by a combination of state bar licensing fees and a voluntary income tax check off. By agreeing to very low “qualifying contribution limits” from donors (generally $500 per person and about $80,000 overall), statewide judicial candidates can qualify for public funds. If they raise around $40,000 from 350 or more North Carolina residents between the filing deadline and the primary election, they receive about $165,000 to $240,000 (depending on the office sought) in campaign funds from the state. If an opponent or opposition groups spends more than the amount given by the fund, candidates are entitled to receive rescue funds of up to double the amount they initially received. The availability of these “rescue funds” most notably played a pivotal role in assisting the current Chief Justice Sarah Parker win her 2006 re-election campaign against a challenger who did not take public financing. Continue reading

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