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Elections bill becomes law as general assembly overrides Cooper’s veto

Published: Dec. 27, 2018 at 3:46 PM EST
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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina general assembly passed a new elections law despite Governor Roy Cooper’s objections about transparency and campaign finance violations. The House and Senate voted to override the governor’s veto as the current elections board investigates absentee ballot irregularities in the 9th Congressional District race.

The law requires a new primary in the 9th Congressional District race if the North Carolina State Elections Board decides to a new general election is necessary.

The law allows the NCSBE to stay in its current form until the investigation is complete and then it would revert to its 2016 structure.

Governor Cooper decided to veto the bill saying in a statement released on Twitter that the bill “mandates secrecy for campaign finance investigations by the elections board,” and it “makes it harder to prosecute people and groups that violate campaign finance laws.”

Representative Deb Butler from Hanover voice her displeasure with the bill.

“Now is not the time to try and pull the wool over the public,” Butler said.

Senator Bishop called the new coalition against the bill ironic.

“This bill passed by a vote of 34-3. Only one of the no votes was a democrat," Bishop said.

The law makes the following changes...

  • Separating the Board of  Elections and Ethics Enforcement Commission
  • NCSBE includes five  members all appointed by Governor. Limits number of appointees from single  party.
  • Ethics Commission includes eight members. Four appointed by governor, two by speaker of the  house and two by president pro temp. Limits number of appointees from  single party.
  • Elected officials, candidates, state employees cannot serve on board.
  • NCSBE would oversee  campaign finance investigations whole Ethics Commission would oversee compliance  and enforcement.
  • Lobbying activity  regulations would fall back under the Secretary of State.

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