The state Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in our case against the General Assembly’s extreme partisan gerrymandered congressional and state legislative maps. Thanks to a veto by Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday, the subsequent timing of this year’s primary and local elections remains in the court’s hands.
Cooper vetoed House Bill 605, which would have delayed the May primary to June 7. Legislative leaders pushed it through on a party-line vote earlier this month. Analysts believe the bill’s purpose was to provide more time for legislators to draw new maps before candidate filing re-opens (currently set for February 24). Their hope is if the court overturns the gerrymanders that they will allow legislators another crack instead of handing the task to a special master or adopting our proposed maps.
In his veto message, Gov. Cooper said, “This bill is an additional attempt by Republican legislators to control the election timeline and undermine the voting process. The constitutionality of congressional and legislative districts is now in the hands of the North Carolina Supreme Court and the Court should have the opportunity to decide how much time is needed to ensure that our elections are constitutional.”
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