Cooper Vetoes Elections Board Bill, Leaving Board’s Future In Limbo

RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed legislation that would revert the State Board of Elections back to it’s pre-2017 form, as threatened. The bill is an effort to secure the continued operation of the Board during the span of a 9th Congressional District fraud investigation, and largely gives Democrats what they’ve been clamoring for ever since legislative Republicans sought to reform the Board to make it more bipartisan in its operation.

Cooper sued the legislature when they passed bills to reform it, and Republicans placed the issue on the November ballot in the form of a Constitutional Amendment, which voters rejected. So, when Republicans finally caved in the interest of stability and certainty during a wrought time in elections oversight for the Board, it seemed as if the change in heart would be welcomed by Democrats. And it was by many Democrats in the General Assembly, as the bill passed with broad bipartisan support.

Cooper, though, finds himself incapable of accepting anything Republicans do, even when they accomplish his objectives for him. He threatened a veto over a provision that keeps campaign finance investigations private until their conclusion, and limits the statute of limitations on prosecuting such violations. Republicans demurred, and Cooper followed through, nonsensically.

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It’s risky, because if Republican super-majority allows the veto to kill the bill, the Board could dissolve before wrapping up its 9th District investigation.

Of course, the General Assembly is scheduled to convene on Sunday, December 23 – just two days before Christmas – and is likely to override Cooper’s veto then. As highlighted above, that would bring the number of times Gov. Cooper’s veto pen has been overruled by a Republican super-majority to nearly two dozen. But hey, who’s counting.

More proof that Cooper is more interested in putting a stick in the eye of Republican lawmakers than actually taking care that state agencies can do their important jobs on behalf of North Carolina citizens.

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