Republicans want legislative leaders to appoint all members of the state elections board, a power now held by the governor. State House GOP leaders on Friday afternoon introduced a proposal to change the North Carolina Constitution to create an eight-member State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement with all members chosen by the House speaker and the Senate leader. Voters would have to agree in November to change the constitution if the proposal wins approval in the House and Senate. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislators have been fighting over the makeup of the board since Cooper’s election in November 2016. In the waning weeks of the administration of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, the Republican-led General Assembly put forward their first proposal to change the makeup of the elections and ethics boards.
That effort continued for more than a year as the courts struck down some versions of the board, but opened the door for the nine-member merged board that is in place now.
The GOP proposal released Friday would mean that the governor would have no say in elections board membership.
“The elections and ethics oversight process should not be partisan and this constitutional amendment protects the board’s impartiality in the strongest possible language,” House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement.