North Carolina Governor Vetoes Bill for Partisan Judicial Elections

On March 16, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed HB 100. The bill converts judicial elections, for local judges, from non-partisan to partisan. The message says that non-partisan elections are better than partisan elections for judges. It also says that the requirement that independent judicial candidates, who would need a petition of 2% of the number of registered voters in their district, would have a difficult time getting on the ballot. See the veto message here.

Ironically, HB 100 provided easier petition requirements for independent judicial candidates than for independent candidates for other district office. For all other district office, independent candidates need a petition of 4% of the registered voters.

The veto was expected, because in the legislature, Republicans supported the bill whereas Democrats opposed it. The Republican majority in each house of the legislature exceeds 60% of the membership, and vetoes can be overridden in North Carolina with a 60% vote in each house, so there will be an attempt to override the veto. Thanks to Kevin Hayes for this news.

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