State of Elections

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Tag: NC State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement

How A Partisan Power Struggle Rewrote North Carolina’s Election Code

By: Margaret Lowry

In North Carolina, a partisan struggle over control of the State Board of Elections has led to a complete reshuffling of the state’s election code – not once, but twice.

In 2010, Republicans won a legislative majority in North Carolina’s General Assembly for the first time since 1898, and gained control over the executive branch two years later – giving the party complete control over the state government. The complete victory was short-lived. In 2016, the Republican incumbent was defeated by Democrat Roy Cooper.

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North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement: When did this happen?   

By: Hannah Littlefield

 Senate Bill 68 (“SB 68”) is arguably the most interesting election law issue in North Carolina. SB 68 merged the North Carolina Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission, forming the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. The boards merged in June 2017; however, Governor Roy Cooper has yet to appoint members to the new board 

What is SB 68? SB 68 is a revision of Senate Bill 4—a bill created by the Republican-led General Assembly—that was struck down by a three-judge panel. The three-judge panel originally ruled that the merger was unconstitutional. Republican lawmakers revised Senate Bill 4, now SB 68, and passed the new bill on April 25, 2017. What is so interesting about SB 68? Three things: (1) SB 68 was created without a severability clause; (2) Governor Cooper filed a lawsuit against the legislative leaders arguing that SB 68 violates the Separation of Powers clause, interferes with the Governor’s ability to “faithfully execute the laws,” and violates the “non-delegation doctrine;” and (3) the press has not really caught on to the importance of the issues surrounding SB 68.   

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