Lawsuit challenges judicial elections in NC's largest county

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A lawsuit challenging the new way of electing District Court judges in North Carolina's largest county says the law divides the county into two predominant racial groups and sorts the voters into districts by race.

The action challenges a law passed in 2018 that puts Mecklenburg County's 21 District Court judgeships into eight districts, meaning the judges are no longer elected countywide. Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the bill, and legislators overrode his veto.

The plaintiffs ask that the law be declared unconstitutional for several possible reasons, including that it violates the Voting Rights Act.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Wake County by former Appeals Court Judge Robert Hunter. Defendants include the State Board of Elections, House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate leader Phil Berger and Cooper.