Editorial: Appeal reminds voters legislative leaders are elections cheaters
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018 -- N.C. legislative leaders don't need more opportunities to remind voters they're elections cheaters. But that's just what they've done in appealing a decision that ordered newly-minted Republican Chris Anglin be identified with the GOP on the state Supreme Court ballot.Posted — Updated
The leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly don’t need more opportunities to remind voters they’re elections cheaters.
There’s some important background that’s been largely ignored or misstated that is worth presenting to understand why the legislative leadership’s behavior in this particular matter has been so outrageous. Their problems and complaints are almost entirely self-inflicted.
They’d already dismantled the state’s non-partisan system for electing judges – a national model. As a result, candidates for judicial offices ran in partisan primaries and were identified on the November election ballot as Republicans or Democrats.
At significant taxpayer expense, these unnecessary laws were defended in the federal court system. The legislators won. But schemers, in their haste and deviousness, don’t always look at all the details.
Primaries are internal functions of political parties – ways to winnow the field of candidates to represent the Democrats or Republicans on the fall election ballot. The rules that govern primaries – for example that a candidate must have been a member of the political party for at least 90 days before filing to run for an office – are set for participation in a political party’s function. How long a candidate’s been a member of a political party – or even membership in a political party -- isn’t a qualification for office.
State Senate leader Phil Berger and Senate Elections Chairman Ralph Hise along with House Speaker Tim Moore and House Rules Chairman David Lewis were closely involved with putting the laws together changing judicial elections this year. No one should have known better how they’d work.
They fought in court to uphold the laws that eliminated judicial primary elections and set out a different election process. There is little reason, other than a stubborn notion that insisting what is wrong is right will somehow make it so, to continue the legal fight.
It may not have been what legislative leaders intended, but it is what they did and they’re stuck. Continuing the battle won’t change the rules, just waste taxpayer dollars.
It will be a vivid reminder of just who has been working to manipulate elections and distort the will of the voters.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.