NC Politics Review: Stealth Voting, A Bellwether Election & A Judge Who Fought For Innocence

Sep 13, 2019

Former North Carolina State Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. died Thursday at age 85. Known as a law and order conservative who sometimes wore his pistol in court, Lake spearheaded the Actual Innoncence Commission which gave birth to North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission and helped make the state a leader in overturning wrongful convictions.

WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii joins host Frank Stasio to talk about Lake’s legacy. Political scientist Michael Bitzer joins the conversation to share analysis of Lake’s impact on the state’s criminal justice system. Bitzer is a professor of politics and history at Catawba College.

They also share their analysis of a tumultuous week North Carolina politics.Tasked with completely redrawing state legislative maps in two weeks, legislators reportedly used a lottery machine to decide which maps to work from, and the spectacle was live streamed. But things got even stranger on Wednesday when House Republicans held a stealth and unexpected vote to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto. Democrats were told there would be no morning voting, so many were at 9/11 commemoration events. This trickery has prompted an outcry by Democrats with one national news outlet declaring democracy dead in North Carolina.

The state also wrapped up special elections in the 3rd and 9th Congressional Districts resulting in two new Republican legislators. Tiberii and Bitzer break down these stories and analyze voter turnout.