Voters  Should Continue to Cast Ballots in U.S. House Race in March 15 Primary 

Responding to a federal trial court’s order to suspend the current Congressional election, the North Carolina Senate on Friday passed legislation establishing a new Congressional primary on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The bill does not change the current March 15 primary date for all other races including Presidential, Gubernatorial, and Legislative.

North Carolinians still need to cast their ballots for U.S. House of Representatives in the March 15 primary, since legislative leaders have requested a stay of the trial court’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. If granted, the stay would allow the March 15 primary to go forward for all races including for U.S. House, as originally planned. Casting ballots in this election will ensure North Carolinians’ votes are counted despite the uncertainty created by the trial court’s order.

Holding a special Congressional primary to comply with the court’s order is expected to cost state taxpayers more than $9 million.

“While we wish North Carolina voters didn’t have to deal with the chaos, confusion and costliness associated with a federal trial court’s 11th hour changing of the current primary election, we hope this legislation will at least bring some clarity and order back into the process,” said Senate Redistricting Committee Chairman Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg.) “It is vitally important that all voters continue to cast ballots in every race to ensure their voices are heard no matter what the courts ultimately decide.”

In addition to the new primary date, the bill also:

  • Reopens the filing period for Congressional candidates from March 16-25, 2016. 
  • Makes clear that any votes cast for Congressional candidates for the March 15 primary will remain confidential if a stay is not granted.
  • Directs that runoff primaries will not be held only for the 2016 election cycle to cut down on additional confusion and costs.