The House followed suit with the Senate and overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes on two pieces of legislation regarding judicial elections law on Wednesday becoming the twelfth and thirteenth gubernatorial vetoes the legislature has overturned of Cooper’s.
The bills, SB486 and SB757 are now law.
“This bill provides for crucial elections security measures in advance of the critical November elections,” Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), chairman of the House Committee on Elections and Ethics Law, said. “Overriding this veto is the only chance to protect our ballot boxes from foreign and domestic hacking threats this year.”
The state Senate on Tuesday voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes on a pair of bills which are intended to tighten security measures to protect against outside influence on state elections and a piece of legislation making changes to judicial districts in the state.
The Senate’s 31-14 override votes on both bills paves the way for the House to take up override votes Wednesday or in the following days.
Both bills, SB486 and SB757, have been placed on the House calendar for Wednesday.
Leaders in the Senate have called Cooper’s eleventh-hour vetoes on the bills politically motivated, especially in light of the bills being vetoed the Friday before filing opened for judicial seats in the state.
Cooper called the legislation partisan and unnecessarily confusing but legislators have said that Cooper’s last minute, late night, vetoes are what is really partisan and confusing about the legislation.
“As he has shown time and time again, Gov. Cooper is more concerned about making a political statement than working together with the General Assembly to enact laws that benefit North Carolina and its citizens,” Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Elections, said. “I am particularly appalled that the governor is willing to jeopardize the security of elections in our state and further erode public confidence in the election system just to score political points. I am happy that we were able to override his vetoes and strengthen the integrity of our elections.”
The legislation would adjust a number of judicial districts and the other piece of legislation replaced partisan labels on all judicial races, required criminal background screening for key state and local election officials and also put in place rules for the upcoming judicial races for the November General Election.
Cooper did not provide much context to go with his vetoes, and his veto messages offered no explanation as to the lateness of the hour and day in which he decided to veto the legislation.
Regarding SB 757 Cooper included two sentences saying, “The legislative attempts to rig the courts by reducing the people’s vote hurts justice. Piecemeal attempts to target judges create unnecessary confusion and show contempt for North Carolina’s judiciary.”
Of SB486 Cooper had two more sentences to offer in explanation of his decision to veto the legislation two and a half hours before the deadline saying, “Continued election meddling for partisan advantage weakens public confidence. Judges’ races should be free of partisan labels.”
The two most recent vetoes from Cooper mark his 15th and 16th while in office, 11 of which have been overridden so far.