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By TOM BREEN
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A lawsuit filed on behalf of two anti-abortion political action committees seeks to overturn North Carolina’s system of publicly financed elections for judges and other office-holders.

The federal complaint says the state law violates free speech protections by favoring candidates who participate in public financing over those who don’t. It seeks to strike down a provision that gives matching funds to participating candidates when they face privately-funded candidates who raise contributions above a certain threshold.

A similar challenge to the law failed in 2008. But a subsequent Supreme Court decision has given the anti-abortion groups renewed confidence.

North Carolina Center for Voter Education Executive Director Damon Circosta says even if the matching funds are struck down, other public financing will likely continue in the state.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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