2018 will be an interesting year in North Carolina because all legislative seats are up for election. There is a lot of excitement around being able to vote, in part due to backlash against the Trump administration and its policies, in part due to the will to make change thanks to the #metoo movement, recognition of the reinforced need for #gunsafety thanks to students in Parkland FL, exposure of racial violence and unfairness via #BlackLivesMatter and the inspiration of the #WomensMarches. Although the voter registration for the May 8 primary ends Friday, April 13, 2018, same day on site voter registration is allowed during early voting (but not on May 8). So if you are not registered to vote yet – you must vote early and bring the right materials with you to register on-site.
As you may remember, same-day registration and provisional ballots had been thrown out in 2013 when the Republican-controlled legislature rewrote voting rules, but were restored by the courts in 2014. But they have been back in play since late 2014.
People are gearing up for elections in NC as elsewhere in the country, where less conservative to truly progressive candidates have been winning. My favorite story is from the surprise midterm election in Virginia on Nov 7, 2017, where Danica Roem of Virginia got to be the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a U.S. statehouse, Washington Post.
“Virginia’s most socially conservative state lawmaker was ousted from office Tuesday [11/7/17] by Danica Roem, a Democrat who will be one of the nation’s first openly transgender elected officials and who embodies much of what Del. Robert G. Marshall fought against in Richmond.”
In 2018, I was thrilled to see a female judge win a hotly contested state Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin, Washington Post, 4/4/18.
Facts about NC’s 2018 Election
- All 50 Senate seats are up for election in 2018. North Carolina state senators serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years.
- All 120 House seats are up for election in 2018. North Carolina state representatives serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years.
- The semi-closed primary election will be held on May 8, 2018, and a primary runoff will be held on June 26, 2018 (if no federal election is on the ballot) or July 17, 2018 (if a federal election is on the ballot).
- The general election will be held on November 6, 2018.
The candidate filing deadline for NC House and Senate was February 28, 2018.
This is the 2018 status of the NC Senate and House, according to Ballotpedia (same).
- In the 2016 elections, the Republican majority increased from 34-16 to 35-15. Thirty seats are required to override a gubernatorial veto. Democrats would need to gain six seats in 2018 to break up the Republican’s veto-proof majority in the Senate.
- Republicans kept control of the House after the 2016 elections by a 74-46 majority. As of August 2017, Republicans held 74 seats, two more than the 72 seats required to override a gubernatorial veto. Democrats would need to gain three seats in 2018 to break up the Republican’s veto-proof majority in the House.
What is going on, why are all of these seats up for grabs at once?
Ballotpedia explains. “In June 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed a federal district court decision finding that 28 state legislative districts had been subject to an illegal racial gerrymander. The district court then ordered state lawmakers to draft remedial maps for use in the 2018 election cycle. The North Carolina General Assembly adopted new state House and Senate district maps on August 30, 2017. On October 26, 2017, the district court appointed a special master “to assist the Court in further evaluating and, if necessary, redrawing” the revised district maps. On January 19, 2018, the district court issued an order adopting the special master’s recommendations. On February 6, 2018, the Supreme Court issued a partial stay against the district court’s order.”
Read more about the redistricting case at https://ballotpedia.org/North_Carolina_State_Senate_elections,_2018#Redistricting_in_North_Carolina
It’s going to be an interesting election year with many people making their statements on Trump and the direction of the country by their votes.