N.C. Senate Republicans vote to delay all primary elections to June 7, bill now goes to House
The state Supreme Court had already delayed primary elections until May so state courts can review lawsuits claiming illegal gerrymandering.
RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina Senate Republicans have voted to delay all state primary elections to June 7.
On Wednesday, senators voted on House Bill 605, a bill aimed to set the date for the 2022 primary election as June 7, 2022, to allow the state board of elections to issue temporary rules for conducting the 2022 primaries and elections and to address other matters relating to the 2022 primary.
Republican Senators T. Alexander; Ballard; Barnes; Britt; Burgin; Corbin; Craven; Daniel; Edwards; Ford; Galey; Hise (Chair); B. Jackson; Jarvis; Johnson; Krawiec; Lazzara; Lee; McInnis; Newton; Perry; Proctor; Rabon; Sanderson; Sawyer; Steinburg - all voted yes on the bill.
The bill now goes to the N.C. House for consideration.
Republican lawmakers say the reason the delay might be necessary is because the state Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments for the redistricting case for Feb. 2 and said it needs finalized districts in place by the week of Feb. 14 if it is to hold orderly primary elections under the current schedule.
North Carolina state law requires the legislature to have at least 14 days to draw new districts if existing ones are struck down by a court.
A North Carolina judicial panel recently ruled to allow redistricting maps drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly to move forward, rejecting arguments that the lines were illegally politically stacked for Republicans.
The unanimous decision by the three trial judges will be appealed by the advocacy groups and voters who challenged the new congressional and legislative lines in court.
The North Carolina Supreme Court had already ruled that all state primary elections must be delayed until May 2022 so state courts can review lawsuits claiming illegal gerrymandering.
The ruling moved the primaries from March 8, 2022 to May 17, 2022. The primary is now pushed back to May 17 for all offices, including legislative seats and seats in the U.S. House and Senate.
Several civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the North Carolina Legislature’s process for drawing new state House and Senate voting maps.
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