House Republicans last week rushed through legislation that rewrites a law struck down in court as unconstitutional to merge the state ethics and elections boards into a single panel.
The new bill leaves in place an eight-member panel with membership equally divided by the two parties, but the governor would get to make all eight appointments, choosing four from six nominees provided by each chairman of the state Democratic and Republican parties. It would also require the votes of five board members to reach a decision rather than the previous law’s six.
County election boards, which currently have three members, would be evenly divided four-member boards.
Republican legislative leaders retooled the measure to avoid further appeals of the ruling striking down the previous law, one of several enacted in December limiting the then-incoming governor’s powers just weeks before Gov. Roy Cooper assumed office. (Read more)