In a bill filed yesterday in the North Carolina Senate, Senator Graig Meyer (D-Orange) proposed ending runoff elections for the Orange County Schools Board of Education.

At present, the Orange County Schools Board of Education is the only elected office in the county that requires a runoff election when a candidate does not secure majority support. In March, Jennifer Moore, who has since resigned from office, received plurality support for her reelection campaign, but fell approximately 50 votes short of having majority support from all voters in the multi-candidate race (each voter could support up to three candidates, and there were seven candidates on the ballot, including three other candidates who were politically aligned with Moore, two of whom won outright).

Utilizing this little known provision in state law, Bonnie Hauser, the fourth-place candidate, decided to challenge Moore in a run-off election, which will be held next week. In April, Moore withdrew from the race after admitting she did not have a Ph.D., and resigned from the school board.

Many of Moore’s supporters are still planning to vote for her, knowing that this will force the sharply divided board to come to consensus on a candidate that can bridge the two camps on the board.

If adopted, Meyer’s bill will overturn a runoff procedure that was first put in place in the late 1970s.

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Martin Johnson lives in Chapel Hill. He teaches film studies courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a member of NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro and the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel...