Earlier this year, with the March 15 primaries right around the corner, a federal judge ruled that the legislature's congressional district maps constituted an illegal racial gerrymander. So the legislature had to redraw the maps and reschedule the congressional primaries for June 7. Because of the time crunch between June and November, there will be no runoff. Whoever earns a plurality of what will doubtless be abysmally low-turnout elections wins. And because of the way these districts are drawn—the new ones are no more competitive than the previous ones, though they're less obviously influenced by race—in many places across the state, the primary is the only election that matters.
To further complicate matters: in April, a divided N.C. Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that threw out a law passed last year allowing Associate Justice Robert Edmunds to run in a retention election rather than a competitive one—another judicial rebuke to the legislature's partisan overreach. And because the congressional elections were moved around, so too was the primary for a Wake County Superior Court seat.
It's quite the cluster, isn't it?
Chances are you haven't heard much about these races. That's where we come in. Below you'll find our endorsements for primaries in the Second, Fourth, and Sixth Congressional Districts, as well as the Supreme Court and Superior Court elections. We hope you find them useful.
Again, there's an election on June 7. Please vote.
This article appeared in print with the headline "The Accidental Election"