Carolina Public Press

Carolina Public Press
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February 2017
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Orr’s Redistricting Lawsuit Incorrectly Applies the Civitas Partisan Index

Recently, retired North Carolina Supreme Court justice and 2022 redistricting special master Bob Orr filed a lawsuit challenging the redrawn congressional and state legislative maps based on “fairness.” My colleague Dr. Andy Jackson explained how the plaintiff’s central claim in this lawsuit is just another partisan gerrymandering claim presented under a new name. The case...
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Redistricting Lawsuit Seems Novel Until You Read It

I appeared with former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr in a news segment on a newly filed redistricting lawsuit in November of 2023 (starting at 2:47). Despite our differing perspectives, we disagreed less than I thought we would. We both agreed that plaintiffs in that and other lawsuits would struggle to find grounds...
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Why We Poll

Public opinion polling is a powerful tool for accountability in the democratic process, creating transparency between policymakers and the people they represent and amplifying the voices of the governedIn a time of increasing polarization and division, polling serves as a bridge-builder, facilitating constructive conversations and forging consensus around shared values and goalsCarolina Journal and the...
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Filing Failures: Candidates Disclosure Requirements Leave Exploitable Loopholes

The State Board of Elections and the Rockingham County Board of Elections allowed controversial Republican Joseph Gibson III on the ballot for House District 65Candidates for office must fill out a form regarding any of their felony convictions but can remain on the ballot if they lieAn exception provision in North Carolina’s felony disclosure law...
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North Carolina Needs to Reform Duplicate Voter Registrations Removal Process

A North Carolina group says they have found numerous duplicate voter registrations, but election officials have not acted on their findingsA pair of federal lawsuits set parameters for how and when citizens can challenge voter registrationsThe General Assembly should streamline the process for challenging duplicate registrations The North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) says...
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Judge’s Unverified Voter Registration Injunction Is a Fixable Problem

The North Carolina General Assembly addressed a “ghost voter” problem, which involves  verification of same-day registrations before associated ballots are countedA U.S. District Court upheld the verification process but enjoined its enforcement until election officials initiate a notification procedure for the affected registrationsThe State Board of Elections can implement a notification process that lifts the injunction,...
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Brunswick and Forsyth Election Boards Withdraw from “Zuck Bucks 2.0”

Almost exactly a year ago, I noted how a left-wing organization called the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) influenced election administration in North Carolina and nationwide through funds provided by billionaire Mark Zuckerberg (AKA: “Zuck Bucks”). I also noted how CTCL was behind a new attempt to influence election administration underway in the...
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Public Comment: Proposed Voter ID Rules Are at Odds with State Law

Below is my public comment on the North Carolina State Board of Elections’ proposed voter ID rules. A link to the proposed rules is below the comment. You can submit your comment on the rules through that link through January 16. I am writing in regard to 08 NCAC 17 .0101, Verification of Photo Identification...
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Two Years of Changes in North Carolina Voter Registrations

With a new year upon us, let’s see how voter registrations have changed over the past two years. Why look at changes over two years instead of one? The North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) conducts biennial list maintenance at the start of each odd-numbered year, removing hundreds of thousands of registrations that have...
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Who’s filed for the 2024 Election?

Filing for the 2024 election has officially closed as of noon on December 15th. With it, we know which legislative seats will be contested and who is running for what seats.  The full breakdown of candidate filings for the North Carolina Legislature and Congress can be found here. North Carolina Congressional Races Democrats have filed...
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Elections Board To Make Squishy Voter ID Law Even Squishier

The North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) held a public hearing on proposed voter ID rules on December 13. The proposed rules are for in-person (08 NCAC 17 .0101) and mail (08 NCAC 17 .0109) voter ID. A review of those regulations reveals that they provide exceptions that are so easily exploitable that they...
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Redistricting Lawsuit Arrives a Day Late and a Dollar Short

As expected, the Elias Law Group has filed a lawsuit (Williams v. Hall) challenging some of North Carolina’s new congressional districts. As if they realized how unlikely they were to succeed in their attempt to stop elections under this map, they waited until the day candidate filing had started to file their complaint The Challenged...
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Plaintiffs Request Gingles All the Way in Senate Redistricting Case

A legal challenge to the state Senate maps was filed just before the Thanksgiving holiday last week, questioning the state’s compliance with the Voting Rights Act. With candidate filing set to begin Dec. 4, the plaintiffs requested the court to expedite a preliminary injunction. Federal court judge James Dever denied the motion to expedite the...
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Elections Board Agrees to Partially Follow Law on Registration IDs

Election officials have been deviating from state and federal voter registration laws for two decades. A citizen complaint forced the North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) to start complying, but more action is needed to fix the damage caused by that deviation. Federal and State Law Requires ID Numbers for Voter Registration The Help...
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Shrinking Violets: Where Are the Redistricting Lawsuits?

Redistricting lawsuits are common in North Carolina. The General Assembly’s redistricting page is littered with maps that courts have tossed out (click on “District Plans Enacted or Ordered by the Court”). Only One Redistricting Lawsuit so Far However, unlike in the recent past, there has been no rush of lawsuits against the new maps. Only...
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Appeals Court Disallows Private Action under the Voting Rights Act

Appeals Court Prohibits Private Action under the Voting Rights Act In a case with potentially enormous ramifications for North Carolina elections, the United States 8th District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that individuals cannot sue under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). That is the most common section used in...
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Now That We’re Done with Redistricting, Let’s Talk About Redistricting Reform

With the next scheduled round of redistricting eight years away, now is the best time to talk about redistricting reformFollowing traditional redistricting criteria more strictly and making the “Stephenson process” a permanent part of the state constitution can limit gerrymanderingAnother tool to limit gerrymandering is banning the use of political and racial data and not...
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North Carolina’s Congressional Maps Should Avoid Splitting Our Largest Cities

What should we value more when it comes to map drawing: that a district be drawn to represent a community of interest or which party may have an advantage in that district? Philosophically speaking, a district should be drawn to give a geographic community a voice in their government.  However, the process of map drawing...
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Policy Pizza: Election Security and Data

This week on Policy Pizza, we linked up with Jim Stirling, a Research Fellow at Locke’s Civitas Center for Public Integrity. Jim’s primary focus for the Center for Public Integrity is researching election integrity, analysis of election data, and good governance practices on the state and local levels. Over some beers and pineapple pizza, Jim...
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When It Comes To Redistricting, What Does “Fair” Actually Mean?

Some things are perennially certain in life. My son’s desire to stay up past his bedtime, the beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway during autumn, and North Carolina’s protracted redistricting saga. In October 2023, the state legislature approved new congressional and legislative maps. It was to the surprise of no one that Democratic politicians and...
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Stephenson Ruling Does not Require Racially Polarized Voting Analysis

Legislators disagreed during North Carolina’s recent round of redistricting on whether the General Assembly had to conduct a racially polarized voting analysis. This raises at least two questions. The first is “What is racially polarized voting (RPV) analysis?” At its most basic RPV analysis attempts to determine if White and nonwhite voters both vote as...
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What are the Partisan leanings of North Carolina’s Proposed Legislative Maps?

October 26 Update: The General Assembly ratified amended versions of Senate Bill 758 and House Bill 898 on October 25. The changes are mostly minor and do not change the overall partisan ratings of either map previously listed in this post. The updates to the Senate map include swapping precincts between districts 20 and 22...
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Two Problematic State Senate Districts and One That Is Not As Bad as It Looks

We noted on October 20 how the proposed North Carolina Senate map tended to favor Republicans. We also noted how closely they adhered to or failed to adhere to traditional redistricting criteria: The CPI indicates that there are 16 safe Democratic seats, 1 likely Democratic seat, 5 toss-up seats, 5 lean Republican seats, 4 likely...
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Proposed Congressional Maps Look Ugly But Are Good on Many Redistricting Criteria

The two congressional maps proposed in the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee are not pretty. What the maps do with the 13th District is perhaps the most extreme example. On one map (CBP-5) it runs from northern Wake County all the way down to the beaches of Carteret County. On the other map (CCJ-1) the...
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