Voters in North Carolina rejected Governor Pat McCrory and denied him a second term. Now he and the state Republican Party are trying to overturn the will of the people.
One of the exceptions to the Republicans’ series of wins on Election Day was North Carolina governor Pat McCrory. After four years of toxic far-right policy, including severe cutbacks to voting rights, shutting down abortion clinics, and the infamous “bathroom bill” which sparked nationwide boycotts of the state, North Carolinians rejected their Republican governor in favor of Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper.
But the election is not over yet: McCrory and his supporters are now trying to overturn the result. And they are fighting dirty.
It would be one thing if McCrory was simply requesting a recount. State law allows for a full recount if the margin is fewer than 10,000 votes, which appears to be the case. McCrory is going beyond this, however: he is petitioning several election boards to throw out Democratic ballots as fraudulent and exclude thousands of provisional ballots from being counted at all.
His legal team is asserting, with absolutely no evidence, that felons and dead people cast a large number of votes.
And since every county election board in the state is run by McCrory’s own Republican appointees, he is basically accusing his own administration of widespread incompetence. Indeed, these Republican appointees are largely denying the governor’s election protests.
But even though all signs indicate McCrory will lose both his legal challenges and a potential recount, there is still a way that Republicans could overturn the election: under state law, the legislature can step in and declare a winner in a contested election. The heavily gerrymandered Republican majority has promised only to intervene as a “last resort,” but it is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which McCrory keeps stalling and issuing legal challenges until the legislature has a pretext to overrule the voters and declare him the winner.
It is crucial for everyone who cares about democracy to keep their eyes on developments in North Carolina. The voters made their decision and Republicans cannot be allowed to silence them.