SHELBY, NC (WBTV) - A judge has ordered more time for Cleveland County School Board member Kathy Falls to file the paperwork necessary to seek re-election.
The order comes after Falls filed a lawsuit against the Cleveland County Board of Elections challenging a new law that was hastily passed last month, which effectively barred her from seeking re-election.
Falls is registered as an unaffiliated voter. Under a law passed in the final hours of the North Carolina General Assembly's long session, the school board election switched from being a non-partisan race to a race where candidates run with a party affiliation. Because of that, Falls will have to collect thousands of signatures from registered voters in Cleveland County in order to get a spot on the ballot.
The bill making the change was passed June 29. Under the new law, Falls would had to have submitted roughly 2,400 signatures to the Board of Elections the next day, June 30.
Falls filed a lawsuit earlier this week and on Thursday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order that gives Falls until September 27.
The filing period for political candidates in Cleveland County was also extended by the judge, from June 21 to August 1.