Cooper Undermines Local Elections Administration

Governor Roy Cooper and his continued lawsuits against bipartisan election governance are causing chaos in upcoming local elections, such as in Morehead City, North Carolina. After the General Assembly enacted legislation to end partisan gamesmanship in election administration by evenly dividing the statewide and local election boards between the two parties, Governor Cooper has filed multiple lawsuits seeking to keep total control over ethics, elections, and lobbying within his own Democratic Party. The Governor has refused to appoint any board members to the State Board of Elections, which means vacancies on county boards of election are unable to be filled. Many of those boards, including in Carteret County, are without a quorum and cannot hear elections complaints or properly administer local elections. Instead of relying on a relatively quick, local process that is supposed to prevent litigation, voters and candidates now must rely on a slow-moving and confusing process through the statewide Court of Appeals to seek relief. 
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It's curious that while our Governor was Attorney General, he couldn't be bothered to show up to a courtroom and offer defenses of state laws or challenge constitutional violations from the federal government. But now that he has the keys to a mansion on Blount Street, he's filed nearly one lawsuit a month, with every single one of them an attempt to extend his own power. The Governor should fulfill his duties, as prescribed by law, and appoint members to the bipartisan board that oversees our election administration. The time for his partisan lawsuits is over now that his inaction is now directly impacting the lives of North Carolinians and the proper administration of our election laws. 
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The below article appeared in The Insider. 
Elections Complaint
 
An elections complaint involving a Morehead City municipal election is headed to the N.C. Court of Appeals because Carteret County's elections board has too many vacancies to take action, and the state elections board is vacant.

Andrea Smith is challenging the eligibility of three candidates for mayor and city council in Morehead City, arguing the candidates don't live within the boundaries of the city. After finding out that neither the state nor county board could address her complaint, Smith sent a letter to the Court of Appeals on Thursday requesting a hearing in Raleigh; her letter is expected to arrive there on Friday, along with the $260 filing fee required by the court.

The unusual situation stems from Gov. Roy Cooper's lawsuit challenging a Republican-sponsored law that merges the state's election and ethics boards and creates a new board with an even number of Republicans and Democrats -- instead of the Democratic majority Cooper could have appointed under the old system. The N.C. Supreme Court will take up the appeal in August, but for now, the court has issued an order that keeps the agencies merged for now but doesn't require any appointments to the new board.

The new board would be responsible for filling the county board in Carteret and elsewhere, and while some county boards still have three members who can take action on complaints, a resignation means Carteret only has two board members -- short of the three-member quorum required.(Colin Campbell, THE INSIDER, 7/28/17).

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