Tuesday News: NC a national spectacle, again

FACED WITH A LOSS, MCCRORY CRIES FOWL (New York Magazine) -- There are fewer votes out in the North Carolina governor’s race, where Democrat Roy Cooper has a 6,600 vote lead over incumbent Republican Pat McCrory. In fact, nobody seems to think there’s any way McCrory can catch up with the votes still out, and Cooper’s lead has actually been increasing. So in the best North Carolina Republican tradition, McCrory is making claims of widespread voter fraud, mostly involving absentee or early in-person voting in heavily African-American areas.

CUMBERLAND BOARD OF ELECTIONS VOTES 2-1 TO DISMISS COMPLAINTS (Fayetteville Observer) -- The Cumberland County Board of Elections has disregarded two election protests prepared by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's campaign legal team. At a preliminary hearing Monday morning, the Republican-controlled board voted 2-1 to dismiss the complaints alleging that eight county voters who cast ballots in the Nov. 8 election were ineligible; the complaints argued their votes should be excluded in final county tabulations.

NEWS ORGANIZATIONS FILE SUIT AGAINST UNC-CH FOR ACCESS TO SEXUAL ASSAULT RECORDS (WRAL-TV) -- Several media organizations, including Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns WRAL, filed a lawsuit on Monday against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for access to records pertaining to sexual assaults and misconduct on campus.

N.C. GOP CAN’T JUST DECLARE MCCRORY A WINNER – FED COURTS MAY HAVE SAY (Charlotte Observer column) – There’s some misinformation going around about what can and can’t happen if N.C. Lawmakers decide to intervene in the governor’s race and declare Republican incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory the winner over Democrat Roy Cooper. Hasen told me Monday night that if lawmakers declare McCrory the winner: “It could certainly be reviewable by a federal court regardless of what the legislature says.” He went into some detail a few moments later on his election law blog. It’s worth a read, but to summarize: If there’s clear evidence that Cooper got more votes, and there’s no plausible argument for fraud, then Cooper could claim both a Due Process and Equal Protection Clause violation if the race were handed to McCrory. There’s precedent for courts taking such a look.

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