In latest power grab, Republican politicians try to radically change Board of Elections – even after NC voters soundly rejected past attempt
RALEIGH – North Carolina Republican legislators this week unveiled Senate Bill 749, an attempt to radically alter the State Board of Elections and county election boards. The bill comes after North Carolina voters and courts blocked past attempts by GOP lawmakers to meddle with the State Board of Elections.
Under longstanding law, members of the State Board of Elections are appointed by the Governor of North Carolina. But in a dramatic upheaval of separation of powers, Republican legislative leaders want to strip the governor’s authority to name members to the elections board. Instead, the legislature would seize control of those appointments.
The Republican-controlled legislature has repeatedly tried to alter the State Board of Elections after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper was elected in 2016. Courts have struck down those unconstitutional changes.
Republicans then tried to pass a constitutional amendment to restructure the State Board of Elections in 2018. But the voters of North Carolina soundly rejected that amendment, 62% to 38%.
Nevertheless, Republican lawmakers are trying yet again to impose their will on the State Board of Elections even after being blocked by the courts and the people of North Carolina.
The following is a statement from Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina:
“The courts and the people of North Carolina have already spoken clearly on this issue – and emphatically rejected the legislature’s repeated attempts to meddle with the State Board of Elections. This latest proposal by Republican lawmakers is yet another politically motivated plan that attacks our state’s separation of powers and undermines our elections. It should likewise be rejected.”
Common Cause North Carolina is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.