On Friday a federal judge ruled that two Green Party candidates, including one for U.S. Senate, must be listed on North Carolina ballots in November. The NC State Board of Elections had voted unanimously Monday to certify the Green Party in response to a review from county elections boards that found the party had collected enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot; however, because the deadline for adding candidates to state ballots passed earlier in the summer, they could not add the candidates to the ballot without a judge’s ruling. The same judge, James C. Dever III, issued a ruling earlier in the week that required the NCSBE and the Green Party to file a consent order to resolve their dispute; in the consent order, the NCSBE wrote that they were not opposed to the judge’s extending the filing deadline given the vote to certify the party. The fraud investigation into signatures collected by the Green Party continues, however, and the North Carolina Democratic Party is also continuing to litigate the issue in state court.
On Tuesday a group of unaffiliated North Carolina voters sued the state over a law requiring that NC State Board of Elections members be registered Democrats or Republicans. The four voters bringing the federal suit are represented by Common Cause North Carolina, a voter advocacy organization. In the suit, they allege that their First Amendment rights of free speech and free association and their 14th Amendment right to equal protection are violated by the law.