North Carolina voters could see party affiliations on the ballot next to candidates in some judicial races.
The Senate Rules Committee took up House Bill 8 on Wednesday which would make the change in the nonpartisan N.C. Court of Appeals races. The bill had been sitting in the committee since April, but got a favorable vote and will on the Senate floor Thursday.
Sen. Andrew Brock, a Mocksville Republican, introduced the bill saying that it would simply put partisan markers beside each candidates’ name on the ballot.
“If you work the polls on election day, you encounter a lot of people that want information about the judges,” he said. “Both parties and other groups create guides for the judges, that cuts down a lot of trees. So this is an environmental bill and will save a lot of trees.”
The bill does not make the N.C. Court of Appeals election a partisan race where each political party selects one nominee. Any number of candidates from any party may run.
Sen. Josh Stein, a Raleigh Democrat, said when the issue was brought up in the past, the judges didn’t support it.
“They wanted to go the opposite direction to try to not inject partisanship into the judicial races,” he said.
Brock said while he hadn’t talked to the judges about it, North Carolinians want this additional information about the candidates on the ballot.