RALEIGH, N.C. (WRAL) – A former state Supreme Court justice is suing North Carolina, saying elections for Congress and the state legislature are so non-competitive in this swing state that it’s a violation of voters’ constitutional rights.
North Carolina is incredibly competitive in statewide races. High-profile races often come down to just a few thousand votes, or even just a few hundred votes, out of the millions of ballots cast. In recent presidential elections North Carolina has repeatedly been one of the closest states anywhere in the country.
Yet in the state legislature, only about a dozen of the 170 seats are expected to be competitive this year and in future elections, under new maps that Republican legislative leaders approved late last year, according to WRAL. Similarly, only one of 14 races for the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to be competitive.
That’s a violation of the state constitution’s guarantee of fair elections, says Bob Orr, a former Republican state Supreme Court justice and expert on redistricting. He’s suing the state, trying to get a number of specific districts thrown out.