NC Legislature Votes to Further Delay 2022 Primary Elections
Cary, NC — On Wednesday last week a vote of 69-50 was made in the NC House to advance House Bill 605 which calls for another postponement of North Carolina’s primary elections.
With support coming from state Republicans on this bill in a party-line vote, the question is if Governor Roy Cooper will opt to veto the bill. Tomorrow will mark a full week of deliberating that decision.
If Signed, Bill Moves Primaries to June 7, 2022
The writers and supporters of the bill have said it is necessary in order to allow more time for an ongoing battle in the courtrooms over NC’s election districts. The prior postponement that was made in December by the NC Supreme Court had moved the primaries from March 8 to May 17 for the same reason — to make time for the case.
According to a WRAL report, Republican State Senator Ralph Hise said the bill, “allows all that to settle out and gives voters time to understand who their candidates are and what the districts are before they vote in the primaries.”
Important to note at this time is that no changes are final. If a veto is issued by Cooper and it is sustained, the primaries would remain on May 17, 2022. That said, if bill is signed into law, HB 605 has outlined this as the new schedule for candidate filing and voting.
Candidate Filing Period: March 24 – April 1, 2022
Election Day: June 7, 2022
The Postponements So Far—Explained
We’ve been seeing legislation that would affect election dates in Cary since June 2021.
Originally scheduled for October 2021, Cary’s Primary Election and Town of Cary Municipal Election were postponed to March 8, 2022, with the passing of Session Law 2021-56 in the State Legislature. Under this law, more than 30 municipalities across North Carolina had their 2021 elections delayed into the new year.
This original delay was to allow these 30 municipalities to revise their electoral districts, which Cary did, based on new population numbers from the 2020 U.S. Census. Under the new law, the terms of mayors and council members in the affected municipalities are to be extended until their successors are elected in 2022.
Then, a new postponement came from the NC Supreme Court on December 8, 2021 to make the new election date May 17, 2022. In this ruling, the court suspended candidate filings for all NC offices for the 2022 primary election, including Cary’s municipal election where three Cary Town Council seats will be decided, including one at-large seat and the seats for Districts A and C.
The reason for the suspension, as given by the court, was so that “lawsuits related to gerrymandering can be heard.”
Now, this news of House Bill 605 could mean more time to settle these issues being raised based on North Carolina’s congressional, state House and state Senate election districts. For now, it’s a waiting game to see what will be the outcome of this potential third postponement that now rests on the Governor’s desk.
Story by Ashley Kairis. Photos courtesy of NC General Assembly and NCcourts.org.
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