Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes of two bills adds more uncertainty to already unusual state elections this fall for judges and in races where new political parties want to field candidates. Cooper announced late Friday – less than three hours before a 10-day state constitutional deadline – his decision to block a pair of measures.n One adjusts many judicial election districts in Wake, Mecklenburg, Pender, and New Hanover counties. The other in part prevents the Green and Constitution parties this year from nominating for the November ballot any losing candidate primaries for the same office. The new parties didn’t participate in last month’s primaries and are holding nominating conventions. The Constitution Party of North Carolina was holding its convention Saturday.
That bill also requires criminal background checks for key state and county election board workers and makes more directions about how this November’s elections for judicial races would be administered.
The GOP-controlled legislature already decided last fall there would be no 2018 primaries for the officially partisan races trial court and appeals court judgeships. Rather, candidates statewide begin filing Monday for the seats, with the top vote-getter for each position winning in November regardless of the number of candidates. The bill Cooper vetoed still directs each candidate’s political affiliation on ballots. Cooper wants the old method of nonpartisan judicial races.