Under the Dome

Legislature could revisit election laws in wake of McCrory complaints, Moore says

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore said Monday that the legislature could revisit voter ID requirements and other election laws in the wake of complaints filed with help from Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign.

During a news conference announcing House Republican leaders for next year’s legislative session, Moore was asked about the complaints filed amid a tight governor’s race – making claims that dead people and convicted felons voted in this year’s election.

“The fact that there are a number of protests related to the election at least make it an issue that it’s something that needs to be dealt with,” Moore told reporters.

The speaker said GOP legislators still support the voter ID law that was struck down by a federal court this year.

We believe firmly that the voter ID law that we passed should have passed constitutional muster in every way, and certainly we’ll continue to work on that because we believe voter integrity is very important,” he said.

He also addressed other hot topics involving the General Assembly:

On rumors the legislature might add two seats to the N.C. Supreme Court, a “court packing” maneuver that could dilute the influence of Democratic judges: “I don’t want to comment on rumors, but I appreciate the questions. We haven’t planned to do anything along those lines at this point. I’m not saying it won’t happen. I’m not saying it will happen. Frankly, we have not discussed it in our caucus. I know there was a media account, a quasi-media account, last week claiming that, but the truth is that is not an issue we have discussed in our caucus.”

On the possibility that the General Assembly could settle the governor’s race: “The media has certainly covered the constitutional provision that gives the General Assembly the authority to weigh in on that, but given that the elections are not finalized at this point, I think further comment would be premature.”

On a special legislative session to direct funds to Hurricane Matthew relief efforts: “We have not been given any dates as of yet for a special session. Really I think right now the governor’s office and the executive branch are still assimilating to determine what the costs are. In the west where I am, we have these fires, and there are going to be a lot of costs related to that.”

On Roy Cooper declaring himself governor-elect and naming a transition team: “We’ll simply wait on the certification of the election once it goes through the process. I’ll reserve any further comment until the outcome of the election is decided.”

House Republican leadership named

Moore spoke after a meeting of House Republican lawmakers who nominated him for a second term as speaker. He’s expected to be formally re-elected when the legislature returns to Raleigh in January.

Rep. Harry Warren of Salisbury had planned to run against Moore for the leadership post, but Moore said Warren withdrew his name before any vote took place.

Rep. John Bell of Goldsboro was named House majority leader, continuing the role he took on after Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherfordton resigned from the legislature earlier this year.

Rep. Sarah Stevens of Mount Airy was elected Speaker Pro Tem, replacing Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam of Apex, who didn’t run for re-election this year. Stevens ran for the position against other legislators, but Moore declined to name the other candidates.

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