Archives by: Lynn Bonner

Lynn Bonner

About the author

Lynn Bonner, Investigative Reporter, joined Policy Watch in October 2020 after 26 years as a reporter at The News & Observer. She covered the state legislature and politics for 20 years, and wrote extensively about mental health, state Medicaid policies and spending, and public education. Before coming to North Carolina, she wrote for newspapers in New England.

Lynn Bonner's articles and posts

News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fewer Black legislators will represent eastern NC counties that have significant African-American populations 

Five Black incumbent legislators lost elections in eastern North Carolina districts last week, contributing to an overall decline in Black representation from rural counties with significant African American populations.   Two of the incumbent House candidates who were defeated last week, Democratic Reps. Howard Hunter III of Hertford County and James D. Gailliard of Nash County, said new district lines, a barrage of negative ads and mailers, and lower turnout among Democrats contributed to their losses.  

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Republicans fall short of a veto-proof legislative majority, but advocates foresee tough fights on several key issues

Close votes loom on bills impacting the environment, abortion rights, gun violence, public education, LGBTQ rights Republicans fell short of winning a supermajority in the state House, which may help preserve the strength of Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.   Republicans needed to pick up three seats in the 120-member House to win a supermajority, but fell short by one, the Associated Press reported.

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News Top Story

Out-of-state patients spur abortion increase in North Carolina

Many more people are seeking abortions in North Carolina since June, when the U.S. Supreme Court rescinded the constitutional right to abortion and neighboring states began outlawing or severely restricting abortions. Fifty-three percent of the people coming to A Woman’s Choice North Carolina clinics are from out of state, spokeswoman Amber Gavin said in an interview. At least one person has come as far away as Missouri.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

National government associations and legal scholars want U.S. Supreme Court to reject NC Republicans’ theory on elections   

If NC lawmakers prevail, states face the prospect of being forced to run different elections under different voting rules National associations representing cities, counties and mayors are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject North Carolina Republicans’ claim that legislatures should be the sole state authority setting rules for federal elections.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

U.S. Supreme Court case from North Carolina could unleash profound changes to elections nationwide

High court will hear oral arguments in Moore v. Harper on Dec. 7 A U.S. Supreme Court case originating in North Carolina could ...
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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Election deniers are primed to challenge votes in NC. Voting rights groups are on alert.  

As the Wake County Board of Elections neared the end of its first tally of mail-in ballots this week, Marian Lewin rose from her seat in the audience to ask about the totals.   How many ballots were approved? Were any “spoiled,” requiring ballots be reissued? 

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Information can’t keep up with misinformation about NC voting machines  

Commissioners’ meetings in Surry County are a showcase of election conspiracy theories where distrust of the machines that count ballots plays a starring role   This story is part of a project called Democracy Day, in which newsrooms across the country are shining a light on threats to democracy.  The northwestern North Carolina county on the Virginia border is probably best known as the home of Mount Airy, the birthplace of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for Mayberry in his eponymous television show from the 1960s. This year, Surry County has been a stop on the circuit for prominent election deniers who falsely maintain that votes were engineered to have President Joe Biden win in 2020. 

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights groups seek to rally public opinion on potentially momentous NC gerrymandering case

Republican lawmakers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to end state court oversight of federal elections and pro-democracy advocates are pushing back  It’s a pending U.S. Supreme Court case about the control of elections, a subject most people don’t think about every day. But Moore vs. Harper has become a rallying cry for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Common Cause NC and other voting rights groups...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

One thing is certain after the state Supreme Court ruling on constitutional amendments – more court hearings

North Carolina Republicans’ long desire to impose a photo identification requirement to vote has been threatened by the legislature’s failure in 2011 to draw constitutional election districts.   The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court majority wrote in its opinion last week that constitutional amendments proposed by a legislature with members elected from unconstitutional racially gerrymandered districts aren’t automatically considered valid.  

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: NC treasurer’s love for cash in the pension fund hobbled returns during the stock market boom  

State Treasurer Dale Folwell refers to himself as the “Keeper of the Public Purse.” And since he was elected to the job that includes managing pension funds for state and local government employees, Folwell has been stuffing that purse with cash.  Under Folwell’s direction, the pension fund holds more of its money in cash than the department’s own guidelines direct and has considerably higher cash holdings than similar public pension funds. North Carolina’s pension fund is among the 10 largest public pensions in the country. None of the other nine hold close to as great a proportion of their assets in cash as North Carolina does, according to their most recent financial reports.  

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