Judges weigh law cutting governor’s elections oversight role

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Lawyers for North Carolina’s new Democratic governor say a new law could increase confusion in future elections, leave unethical politicians unpunished and allow campaign finance tricks to continue unabated.

A three-judge judicial panel on Thursday starts hearing arguments about whether it’s constitutional for Republican legislators to end a century of governors overseeing elections now that Gov. Roy Cooper is in office.

The judges are looking at a law passed in April despite Cooper’s veto that takes away his authority to pick the majority of the five-member statewide elections board. That panel selects elections boards in all 100 counties, all of which have been 2-1 majorities favoring the governor’s party.

Lawyers for Republican lawmakers say courts should presume legislative actions are constitutional and shouldn’t get involved in a political turf war.

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