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New hybrid bill includes revision of Ethics, Elections merge

The North Carolina Supreme Court recently struck down a General Assembly law merging the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission, and lawmakers are trying to pass a fix before heading back to the lower court.

House Bill 90 addresses education issues, Atlanta Coast Pipeline funds and the Cooper v. Berger decision from the Supreme Court.

The measure adds one seat to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement for someone who is not affiliated with either of the political parties with the most registered affiliates.

That means the Board would consist of four Republican members, four Democratic members and one unaffiliated member. Cooper can appoint all nine members of the new board — eight from a list of names compiled by the majority parties and one from a list of two names compiled by the other eight appointed members.

“The purpose of this legislation is to implement the decision of the North Carolina Supreme Court … to give the Governor executive control over the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement and to provide for representation on the State Board by unaffiliated and third-party voters,” the bill states.

Cooper’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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