State Appeals Court halts candidate filing amid challenge to new maps

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – The state Court of Appeals has halted candidate filing for all congressional and state legislative races amid challenges to new district maps.

The filing period for next spring’s primary was supposed to open at 12 noon on Monday.

But the court halted that filing as it considered an appeal to a ruling last week that upheld new district maps that were approved last month.

County election directors were alerted to the temporary stay just 21 minutes before the filing period was to open.

The NAACP and voting advocacy groups sued last month saying the new maps approved by the Republican-controlled legislature were unconstitutional and heavily favor the GOP.

The State Board of Elections said the temporary stay will allow parties in the lawsuit to submit arguments to the appeals court and then it will decide whether to continue the filing suspension or lift it.

Late Monday, Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein asked the State Supreme Court to step in and quickly hear the case, saying a delay in hearing the case “could cause substantial harm” if elections are allowed to go forward using the current maps.

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