North Carolina changes voting rules to give state more control

September 26, 2023
Jen Krausz

North Carolina's legislature, which has Republican supermajorities in both houses, passed a bill last week to give the state more control over elections.

Vox claims that the bill could allow the state to weigh in on contested election results because it gives the legislature the power to choose local election board members, rather than the governor.

Typically in the state, the governor selects the local board members, appointing three from his own party and two from the other party. He (or she) also got to choose the leader of the board.

The new bill would give that power to the legislature instead. Currently, the state's governor, Roy Cooper, is a Democrat. He will not be able to veto the bill because Republicans have enough votes to override the veto.

A new system

Local boards under the new bill would have four members instead of five, and they would be evenly split among the parties, chosen by the majority and minority leaders in the legislature.

State boards would be similarly split but would have eight members. The bill is not clear on how ties would be broken under the new system, other than giving the legislature tiebreaking power over the state board.

It is this power that Vox said could allow the state legislature to refuse to certify votes that were disputed by one party.

It could also give legislators the power to decide how many days of early voting a district would have, if the board vote were tied.

How dare they

When the new law takes effect, it can be challenged by Democrats, but the State Supreme Court is also Republican-controlled.

Vox thinks this is just horrible, of course. How dare voters in a state decide for themselves who they want to represent them, and how dare those duly elected lawmakers make laws that Democrats don't like.

I didn't hear any complaining when Congress was Democrat-controlled and the President was also a Democrat.

Other states including Wisconsin, Georgia, Louisiana and Arkansas are making similar moves to put more power at the state level to oversee elections and make rules for them.

It's a natural occurrence when many in Republican and swing states partly blamed early voting for Trump's loss. Logistics dictate that it's harder to control mail-in voting and early voting because they are not as closely monitored and scrutinized as in-person voting on Election Day.

Republicans know they have an uphill battle in many states to get elected, and there's nothing wrong with making an effort to prevent fraud that could make it even harder.

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