The North Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the state’s elections board to halt preparation of voting ballots amid a legal challenge from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The N.C. NAACP challenged the legality of four Constitutional Amendments set for the November election, arguing the ballot language is misleading and the GOP-controlled legislature lacked standing to propose the changes. The state Supreme Court’s move comes a week after a panel of Superior Court judges blocked two of those four proposed amendments from the ballot.
One amendment would give the legislature a major role in filling judicial vacancies, which is now done by the governor. Another amendment, as originally written earlier this year, would strip the governor’s office of its power to appoint members to hundreds of boards and commissions and give that power to the legislature.
The NAACP’s lawsuit challenged those two amendments, as well as one that would introduce voter ID and another that would reduce the maximum state income tax rate from 10 percent to 7 percent.
The N.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement was supposed to begin ballot preparations Aug. 17 so that absentee ballots could be sent by Sept. 7, Josh Lawson, general counsel for the board, told The N&O Wednesday morning.