@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Weekly Wrap: In home stretch

Posted October 21

— With less than three weeks until the election, presidential and vice presidential candidates are crisscrossing North Carolina to push voter turnout. Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine all made stops in the state within a six-day stretch.

The heavy campaigning comes as early voting started in North Carolina. Because of a federal appeals court ruling, voters will again have 17 days – not 10, as lawmakers proposed – of early voting this fall. More than 164,000 votes were cast statewide on the first day of early voting, slightly less than in 2012, according to the State Board of Elections.

Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper held their final debate before the gubernatorial election, and it was the testiest of their three head-to-head meetings.

Outside the campaign, McCrory's office released emails related to House Bill 2 as part of a public records request. His attorney told some people that the governor fought lawmakers over the legislation, which deals with LGBT rights, but eventually saw that he would lose the battle and signed the bill into law, according to the emails.

Also, more depositions were released in an ongoing lawsuit over coal ash cleanup, including a nugget from a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services that the Governor's Office dictated the language to use in notices to people who live near coal ash ponds that their well water was safe to drink.

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