Rusty Jacobs

Political Reporter

Rusty Jacobs is a politics reporter for WUNC. Rusty previously worked at WUNC as a reporter and substitute host from 2001 until 2007 and now returns after a nine-year absence during which he went to law school at Carolina and then worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Wake County.

As a reporter, he has covered a wide array of topics including military affairs, sports, government and damaging storms.

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Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson demonstrates a new touch-screen voting unit.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Michael Dickerson’s voice rippled with the excitement of someone showing off a new sports car.

"This screen will now come up with every ballot, every precinct, every ballot style on it, and I can tap that screen and that gives that person that ballot," he said, his voice trailing off to a hush full of wonderment.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC.

State lawmakers adjourned today without taking up a vote on overriding Governor Roy Cooper's budget veto. 

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

Updated on 12/27/19: A federal court is expected to issue an order next week to block a new North Carolina voter ID law from going into effect for the  primary elections in March. The law requires voters to show a photo ID to cast a ballot. A full trial is still needed to determine if the law should be permanently struck down.

State and county elections officials have been scrambling to educate voters as well as poll workers about the new photo ID law going into effect for 2020. A 12-page informational mailer put together by the North Carolina State Board of Elections will be printed and sent out to the more than four million households across the state.

Michael Dickerson, director of elections for Mecklenburg County, demonstrating a voting machine.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

With the March 3rd primaries just around the corner, the state elections board has OK'd upgrades to a newly approved voting system, allowing the vendor to bypass a lengthier certification process. 

Portrait of George Holding
Courtesy of George Holding

North Carolina's newly redrawn congressional map has convinced at least one Republican incumbent not to run for reelection next year. U.S. Rep. George Holding issued a statement today acknowledging that changes to the 2nd Congressional District factored into his decision not to seek another term in 2020.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

A state court has given the green light to open candidate filing for North Carolina's 2020 congressional elections. The judicial panel ruled Monday that the importance of holding the state's March 3 congressional primaries on time was more pressing than the need to resolve lingering legal questions about North Carolina's new congressional map.

Matt Couch / WUNC

The Confederate statue known as Silent Sam will never again stand on a UNC campus, according to a consent order handed down today by a state court.

Wikimedia Commons

A host of new state laws take effect December 1, including a number of criminal justice measures.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

An investigation launched by the Republican-controlled General Assembly has concluded that Gov. Roy Cooper improperly handled negotiations over a $57.8 million fund related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The North Carolina Senate could vote Friday on newly redrawn congressional district lines to replace the current electoral map. A Republican majority pushed the map through the House on Thursday, hoping to avoid postponing North Carolina's Super Tuesday primaries in March.

A breakdown of North Carolina's Congressional delegation through the years
UNC Library / Jason deBruyn

A joint legislative committee finished up its work Wednesday on redrawing North Carolina's 13 congressional district boundaries, producing more than a dozen possible replacements. Now,the redistricting process must move through the house and senate with candidate filing for 2020 less than three weeks away.

State lawmakers will be back in Raleigh Tuesday to continue work on redrawing North Carolina's 13 congressional district boundaries. A joint house-senate redistricting committee is acting on a state court's urging that lawmakers fix what the judges indicated was a map gerrymandered with excessive partisan bias.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks to a capacity crowd of more than 3500 people at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination made a campaign stop in Raleigh last night.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren energized a capacity crowd at Broughton High School with an unabashedly populist message.

In this July 26, 2017 photo, a member of the gallery tries to display her sign while lawmakers convene during a joint select committee meeting on redistricting in Raleigh, N.C.
Gerry Broome / AP

Updated at 4:10 p.m.

North Carolina legislators have started the process of redrawing the state's current congressional map after state judges last week blocked its use because they said there was evidence of likely excessive partisan bias in those districts. A House-Senate committee held its first meeting on Tuesday.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

A bill awaiting the governor's signature or veto aims to rid North Carolina voter rolls of non-U.S. citizens. But critics see it as a blatant attempt at voter suppression targeting a minority community.

Kay Hagan
Gerry Broome / AP

Updated at 9:11 p.m.

Kay Hagan, a former bank executive who rose from a budget writer in the North Carolina Legislature to a seat in the U.S. Senate, died Monday. She was 66.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

A Wake County Superior Court panel will decide whether to block the use of North Carolina's current congressional district maps in next year's elections, with candidate filing for the 2020 contests just around the corner.

The North Carolina Legislative Building
Dave Crosby / flickr

State lawmakers will look at proposals for reforming the way political boundaries are drawn for North Carolina elections. Sponsors of three bills will address the House  Redistricting Committee Thursday just as a state court takes up a lawsuit challenging North Carolina's current congressional maps.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Heading into 2020, state and county elections officials want to make sure North Carolina voters don't let fears of ballot tampering or outside interference keep them from going to the polls.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

In a time-crunched, court-ordered process, the North Carolina General Assembly recently redrew the state's legislative district maps to be used in next year's elections. A Wake County Superior Court had found the Republican-controlled legislature had gerrymandered dozens of House and Senate districts for extreme partisan advantage. The redrawn maps are now under court review.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly on Tuesday finished its court-ordered task of redrawing dozens of state house and senate districts in a very undramatic fashion. The House voted for the Senate remap and the Senate approved the House proposal.

The task comes two weeks after a dramatic, first-of-its-kind ruling on September 3 when a Wake County Superior Court judicial panel declared Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly had gerrymandered legislative districts for excessively partisan gains and, therefore, violated the state constitution.

Voting sign
Wikipedia Commons

State elections officials have added early voting hours in North Carolina's 9th and 3rd Congressional Districts, where polling sites in particularly storm-prone areas had been closed because of Hurricane Dorian.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

The two Dans running for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District faced off last night in their only face-to-face debate, aired on WBTV in Charlotte. It was a heated battle between a moderate Democrat and a staunch Republican supporter of the president.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

Dan McCready has been campaigning for more than two years, a period the Democratic candidate said he measures in kids.

Rising water following Hurricane Florence is leading to road closures like this on on Arrington Bridge Road in Goldsboro, N.C., Sunday, Sep. 16, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

State emergency management officials are devising a new system for evacuating residents in the event of major storms.

People gather at makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019.
Andres Leighton / AP

As communities in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, mourn the slaying of at least 31 people over the weekend, the Republican and Democratic candidates in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District race are responding very differently.

A picture of people in voting booths
Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina's elections board is deadlocked over whether to require that voting machines produce a paper printout that lets voters read and confirm their ballot.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

The sudden resignation of State Board of Elections Chairman Bob Cordle presents an opportunity for people who oppose the certification of new voting systems in future North Carolina elections.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The political operative whose alleged ballot tampering in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District resulted in a new election now faces more criminal charges.

One of the three voting systems being considered for certification by the State Board of Elections.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The State Board of Elections is scheduled to vote Monday night on the certification of new voting systems for use in North Carolina. The decision comes just as a U.S. Senate report raised concerns about voting machine security nationwide.

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