NC Republicans' "Power Grab" Hits Last-Minute Roadblock
Law that would have revamped elections panel put on hold
A North Carolina judge on Friday put a temporary block on a Republican-backed law that would have limited the power of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper.
It was set to take effect Sunday, and "amounts to a sweeping redesign of the panel that administers and regulates elections in a state that has been steeping in political conflict," the New York Times writes.
Specifically, as the Associated Press reports, it would "convert the five-member state elections board from one with a partisan majority matching the governor's into a bipartisan body with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats. County election boards would have two members from each party, rather than the current three members with a majority from the governor's party."
Cooper's lawsuit argued that the changes "are unconstitutional because they violate the separation of powers provisions enshrined in the North Carolina Constitution by shifting control over that agency away from the governor to the General Assembly.”
The incoming governor added in a statement: "A tie on a partisan vote would accomplish what many Republicans want: making it harder for North Carolinians to vote. It will result in elections with longer lines, reduced early voting, fewer voting places, little enforcement of campaign finance laws, indecision by officials and mass confusion."
Meanwhile, in the face of the anti-LGBTQ ordinance HB2 as well as other aspects state Republicans' "legislative coup," calls are continuing for an economic boycott of the state, which, according to one observer, is no longer "a fully functioning democracy."