Letters to the Editor

John McNeill: Consequential numbers for Court of Appeals judge race

Regarding the Oct. 18 news article “ A whopping 19 candidates vying for one NC Court of Appeals seat”: The fundamental legal document for North Carolina, the North Carolina Constitution, was amended by 20 percent of eligible voters (61 percent of the 35 percent voter turnout) in a primary election (not even a general election).

This Election Day it is possible that a mere 6 percent of the voters will elect a judge to the N.C. Court of Appeals. Because most appeals to the N.C. Supreme Court are discretionary (except in capital cases), the effect is that the Court of Appeals, which hears cases in three judge panels, is the last word on what N.C. law is or means.

How often will this new “6 percent judge” be the deciding vote on what North Carolina law is? These numbers – 20 percent, 6 percent – should be a source of concern for most North Carolinians.

Perhaps it is time for a serious review of some of the election processes we have in place in this great state.

John McNeill