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Multiple lawsuits target new NC laws on voting, election boards and public records

Modernist building
JM Turner
Wikimedia Commons
The North Carolina General Assembly's legislative building

This year in Raleigh, Gov. Roy Cooper wielded his veto pen quite often, but the Republican supermajority overrode him at every turn.

Lawmakers passed sweeping changes to abortion laws, voting rules, public records laws, the way state boards are appointed, and they’re getting ready to finalize changes to legislative districts that will gerrymander some prominent Democrats out of office.

Even though the governor’s veto has been mostly impotent, it’s not all over yet. Cooper and advocates are suing to block some of these new laws.

Raleigh-based journalist Bryan Anderson, who covers the General Assembly, joined WFAE's Nick de la Canal to run through the lawsuits so far and discuss what might be around the corner.

Lawsuits challenge new NC laws
Gov. Cooper's vetoes have been mostly impotent in North Carolina this year, but now the governor and advocates are suing the General Assembly over changes to voting rules, appointment power and other new laws.
Modernist building

Here are some highlights from the conversation:

On the similarities between legislative leaders and a fantasy character, as alleged in Cooper's lawsuit over election board appointments: "He had an interesting comparison for "Lord of the Rings" fans, comparing House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger to Gollum, saying they're obsessed by the power that that the ring brings to them."

On whether expected lawsuits over new state legislative maps have a chance: "There's going to be a lawsuit. Democrats are going to have a next-to-impossible chance in state court, but they might have a decent chance in federal court depending on the maps that lawmakers enact.

On whether lawmakers will still be transparent now that their legislative records aren't covered under public records laws: "Redistricting records are no longer public records, and lawmakers can destroy their own communications as they see fit. And I've said, it's like asking me to run a marathon. It's probably not going to happen for lawmakers to be transparent. And even if it does, it's going to be a long, painful journey to get there."

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Nick de la Canal is an on air host and reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal