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NC election results: Voter ID amendment approved; Budd, Hudson re-elected; 2 other amendments fail

The Associated Press

RALEIGH — A new constitutional amendment will require North Carolina voters to show a photo ID before being allowed to cast ballots, but legislators will decide later what will count as valid and what won’t.

A change to the state constitution approved Tuesday adds the state to the handful in the country that strictly require showing a photo ID to a poll worker when voting.

Some of the states allow exceptions to the law if people have religious objections to being photographed, are poor, or are granted special confidentiality as domestic abuse or stalking victims. North Carolina lawmakers aren’t required to make any exceptions.

Legislators haven’t detailed how voters could get the photo ID needed to vote or how much it would cost the state.

Meanwhile, voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have permanently given state lawmakers more power over the makeup of a state board that decides election and ethics disputes.

The amendment was designed by Republican legislators to create an eight-member Board of Elections and Ethics divided along party lines. Appointments to the board were traditionally overseen by the state’s governors before lawmakers began taking steps in the past two years to reduce the governor’s role in the process.

The amendment was opposed by all living governors, both Republican and Democrat.

Tuesday’s vote came after a legal battle between Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper over the board. The state Supreme Court struck down a 2017 law establishing a politically divided eight-member board because it took executive authority from governors.

Voters also rejected a proposal to change the state constitution in ways that would have diminished the governor’s authority to fill judicial vacancies.

The amendment was opposed by all living governors, both Republican and Democrat.

The amendment would have allowed replacement judges to stay in their appointed jobs for four years and get established. Judges who fill vacant seats now can serve only until the next election, meaning two years or less.

The change also could have weakened gubernatorial powers because governors wouldn’t be able to veto legislation filling a judicial vacancy, giving lawmakers a way to push through new issues.

In other results, one-term Republican Congressman Ted Budd has retained his seat, defeating the Democratic challenger in a close race that drew President Donald Trump’s attention.

The 47-year-old gun store owner defeated Democrat Kathy Manning in the 13th District, which incloudes parts of Rowan County and stretches from Greensboro to the northern suburbs of Charlotte.

Budd had won comfortably in 2016 but found himself in a tight race against the lawyer and community fundraiser.

 

In the 8th Congressional District, Republican Rep. Richard Hudson won his fourth term in office as voters selected him over a Democratic challenger Frank McNeill.

Hudson will continue to represent the district that includes parts of Rowan County and stretches southeast from Concord to Fayetteville.

The 47-year-old Hudson stressed his opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act that became law under the Obama administration and his support of gun rights. His campaign website said he was invited to speak at this year’s National Rifle Association convention, along with President Donald Trump.

On his campaign website, McNeill stressed his support of affordable health care, along with public schools and the environment. The 62-year-old McNeill owns his family’s business, McNeill Oil and Propane, and is the former mayor of Aberdeen.

Three other N.C. congressional incumbents will return to Washington in January.

All three Democrats in the delegation won re-election Tuesday. That includes G.K. Butterfield in the 1st District, David Price in the 4th and Alma Adams in the 12th. Price was first elected to Congress in 1986. Butterfield is the former Congressional Black Caucus chairman.

Republican members in favorable GOP districts also are getting additional two-year terms. They include Virginia Foxx in the 5th District, Mark Walker in the 6th, David Rouzer in the 7th, Patrick McHenry in the 10th and Mark Meadows in the 11th. Meadows leads the House Freedom Caucus. McHenry is the Republicans’ chief deputy whip.

Third District GOP Rep. Walter Jones faced no ballot opposition Tuesday.

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