North Carolina Republicans have passed another bill that would undercut the Democratic governor’s authority in running elections and increase their own, after an earlier measure was struck down as unconstitutional.
Gov. Roy Cooper has said he’ll veto the measure and fight it in court if necessary.
A bill passed Tuesday would give the state’s ethics board the authority to run elections, and would have it made up of four Republicans and four Democrats.
It also would give county election boards four members, two from each party. Currently, the county boards have three members, with the governor’s party holding a majority.
The chairmanship of both the state board and the local boards would alternate yearly between the two parties. But Republicans would hold the chairmanship in every even-numbered year, which is when federal elections take place.
Republicans passed a similar bill in December, and it was signed by the outgoing governor, Republican Pat McCrory. But after Cooper sued, a panel of state judges ruled that it violated the state constitution.
The new bill was carefully written so as to avoid a similar fate. But in a Medium post, Cooper called it “simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” and “another attempt to rig our state and county election boards.”
And that’s far from the only effort by state Republican lawmakers to change the rules in their favor. Their hyper-restrictive multi-pronged voting law, passed in 2013, was found by a federal appeals court to have targeted blacks “with almost surgical precision.” And their redistricting plan was ruled to be a racial gerrymander.