On Thursday the North Carolina State Board of Elections held a public comment session about a series of proposed additional rules for partisan election observers. These rules, which would formalize limits such as the distance observers must keep from confidential voter information or ballots, came about in response to a survey of local elections officials, who reported incidents from the May primary elections in which election observers acted inappropriately.
On Thursday a federal appeals court rejected Democrats’ petition to keep Green Party candidates off North Carolina ballots in November. This decision, which upholds last week’s order from U.S. District Judge James Dever III, means that Green Party candidates Matthew Hoh, running for U.S. Senate, and Michael Trudeau, running for a state Senate seat in District 16, will appear on voters’ ballots. The production and printing of ballots began the day following the court’s decision, and the first absentee ballots are expected to be distributed to voters on September 9.
On Monday plaintiffs in a long-running lawsuit against North Carolina’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks filed a brief with U.S. District Judge William Osteen, stating that under federal court rules he cannot lift his injunction against the law unless one of the parties in the case asks him to do so. The North Carolina Attorney General’s office, which originally had defended the ban, will not request that the injunction be lifted, NC Attorney General Josh Stein has said. The plaintiffs argued that a Republican amicus brief requesting that the ban be reinstated does not apply since they are not parties in the case. Osteen had said that he would act on the case, but he wanted the parties to the case to have the opportunity to file briefs first.