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Gov. Cooper suing to block a new law giving the NC legislature more power over elections

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks with reporters after the Council of State meeting at the Department of Transportation headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. Cooper said he's not convinced that details within a tax-cut agreement reached between Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore will protect the state from revenue shortfalls.
Gary D. Robertson
Associated Press
File: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks with reporters on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.

Governor Roy Cooper is suing to block a new law giving the state legislature more power over elections.

State lawmakers voted earlier this month to override Cooper's veto of changes to the State Board of Elections.

The governor currently appoints the board, with a majority of its members from his political party. The new board will have four Democrats and four Republicans picked by legislative leaders.

Cooper argues in his lawsuit that it's unconstitutional because the executive branch is supposed to oversee elections administration. The governor also worries that the even split on the board could leave early voting decisions unresolved, leading to fewer hours and longer lines.

Democratic Representative Allen Buansi raised similar concerns during the House debate.

“I’m afraid this is going to introduce a lot more gridlock in our elections systems,” he said.

Republicans say the change will make elections administration less partisan because the governor's party won't have a majority. But Cooper notes that voters rejected a similar change proposed as a constitutional referendum.