In the waning days of North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s term, the Republican legislature went out of it’s way to reduce gubernatorial power before his Democratic successor could take office. And all of us on the left were wailing and gnashing our teeth…and rightfully so…since the power grab happened in special session at the very last minute…and violated the separation of powers in NC.
But then a judge stalled one of the laws…blocking the new law that changed the nature and membership in the state’s election commissions…and the left huzzahed and hurrahed. But on reflection that change may not be what it appears. Really.
The changes to the law at the center of Cooper’s Friday lawsuit convert the five-member state elections board from one with a partisan majority matching the governor’s into a bipartisan body with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats. County election boards would have two members from each party, rather than the current three members with a majority from the governor’s party
Now, I understand that a bipartisan election commission with equal number of Democrats and Republicans isn’t optimal. We tried that once in Wisconsin and got nothing but trouble but not learning our lesson, are doing it again. And I can’t imagine it’s gonna work a whole lot better in North Carolina considering the history of the law.
But even that would be better than the extant law it was intended to replace…which essentially gives control to the governor’s party…and I don’t care what party is in power…that ain’t supposed to be how it works.
Between gerrymandering and stacked election commissions and photo id laws, the right to vote is under attack across the nation. As voters and citizens we need to defend ourselves…and demand fair elections. And maybe something akin to the late lamented Wisconsin General Accountability Board.
No single party should ever control the election process!