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Court of Appeals agrees to let Anglin, Edwards keep party labels on ballot

Rebecca Edwards and Chris Anglin

The state Court of Appeals declined to stay a lower court’s ruling that two judicial candidates could remain on the November ballot with their party labels.

If the state Supreme Court doesn’t get involved, it means there will be two Republicans listed for a spot on the high court, Christopher Anglin and incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson. Democrat Anita Earls is also running for the seat.

Anglin changed his affiliation from Democratic to Republican before he filed to run as a candidate, which spurred Republican lawmakers into enacting retroactive rules that revoked his party label from the ballot.

Anglin subsequently filed suit and a lower court agreed that his constitutional rights were violated by the retroactive law. Rebecca Edwards, a candidate for a Wake County District Court seat who changed her Republican affiliation to Democratic before she filed, also filed a lawsuit and won.

The other two candidates affected by the retroactive law did not file a lawsuit but the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement agreed to treat them the same on the ballot as long as the courts continued to rule in Edwards’ favor, so everyone would appear with their party labels.

All ballot litigation must be settled by the end of this week for the State Board to begin the ballot preparation and printing process to comply with federal standards for absentee voting.

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