Local News

N.C. Could Soon Set Date For Primaries, But Runoffs Could Pose Problems

Posted July 15, 2002

— Voters are closer to heading to the polls. It looks like the primary will be held in early September, but now the State Board of Elections has to figure out if there is enough time for a runoff.

North Carolina's primary election date will be Sept. 10 under legislation that is moving swiftly through the state legislature.

A 10-day filing period is needed for legislative candidates which, according to Gary Bartlett, director of the state election board, leaves no time for a runoff.

The no-runoff rule will apply to every elective office up for grabs this year, including the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms.

Redistricting maps drawn by Johnston County Superior Court judge Knox Jenkins changed the legislative political landscape. The May 7 primary was delayed through numerous court challenges brought by legislative Democrats and a federal votings rights review. Rep. Russell Capps, R-Raleigh, also said the maps are more Republican-friendly.

"We do think we have a chance to take both the House and Senate and with a short campaign session, I think we have a very good chance to do that," he said.

The legislation could clear the full House Monday and the Senate by Tuesday. The filing period in legislative races could open as soon as Friday.


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