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Politics

North Carolina Lawmakers Override Governor's Veto Of Election Bill

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Updated: 4:30 p.m.

North Carolina lawmakers have voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of legislation that Cooper said would shroud campaign finance investigations in secrecy.

Republican backers of the bill said it was necessary to ensure that the State Board of Elections can conduct confidential investigations of alleged campaign finance violations. GOP Rep. Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine supported the veto override.

“This isn’t about protecting a violation or others,” Hise said. “This is about keeping someone from creating a violation for political purposes and being able to use this board for that process”

State House lawmakers voted 69-39 to override the veto. The Senate vote was 28-12.

Another part of the bill would require new primaries – as well as a new general election in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district – if the state elections board determines there was fraud in the November election.

 

Updated: 3:15 p.m.

Lawmakers in the North Carolina House voted Thursday afternoon 69-39 to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of an election bill. 

Among other things, the measure increases the confidentiality of future state election board investigations of potential campaign finance violations. Cooper has said the bill would add "secrecy" to such investigations.

Republican Rep. Larry Pittman of Concord did not join the GOP majority in voting for the veto override.

“You know as much as I’d love to support this bill because of the good things that are in it, there are some things I consider unacceptable,” Pittman said. “And of course, I’ve been told I’m voting with the governor. No, I’m voting for what I think is right.  You know, and I guess even the governor can be right about some things sometimes.”

The legislation also includes a provision that would require new primaries – and not just another general election – in the 9th congressional district, if the state elections board determines there was fraud in last month’s election. The veto override measure was headed to the state Senate for consideration Thursday afternoon.

Updated: 9 a.m.

North Carolina lawmakers are scheduled to consider overriding the governor's veto of legislation he says would add secrecy to campaign finance investigations.

The Republican-controlled North Carolina House and Senate are meeting Thursday and are expected to discuss a veto override.

The elections bill would also require new primaries — not just a general election — in the disputed 9th Congressional district race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready if the state elections board deems new voting is necessary. Unofficial results show Harris leading McCready by 905 votes. The state board of elections has refused to certify the race until its investigation into allegations of ballot fraud is completed. 

But that's not the part of the legislation Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper cited in his veto decision. Rather, he said he vetoed the bill because of a measure that would make future state elections board investigations of campaign finance allegations confidential.

Cooper issued a statement Wednesday asking voters to contact legislators and ask them to negotiate with him instead of overriding his veto.