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

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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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State elections board rejects NC GOP signature matching request for absentee ballots 

The NC Board of Elections, in a 3-2 party line vote, rejected state Republicans’ request for signature verification on absentee ballots.   Republicans wanted local elections officials to be able to compare voters’ signatures on their registration cards against signatures on requests for absentee ballots and on the returned ballots. 

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

In national health care rankings, North Carolina is chronically ill

The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that promotes high-quality health systems, publishes a scorecard each year that ranks states on 56 benchmarks, such as healthcare access, health disparities, and quality.  The nonprofit added seven benchmarks related to COVID-19 to this year’s scorecard, including “excess deaths.”  Overall, North Carolina ranked 34th of 51. (The District of Columbia is included in the rankings with the 50 states.) North Carolina ranked better than most states in the Southeast, but lagged behind neighboring Virginia, which came in 20th. Hawaii was No. 1 and Mississippi was 51st.

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News Top Story

State budget has plenty of surprises, including lots of earmarks and lower raises than state employees wanted   

 Developing a state spending plan in secret, North Carolina Republicans used most of the state’s water and sewer improvement money for earmarked projects, lifted financial limits for families who want private school vouchers, and helped subsidize hog industry biogas plans.   Republicans released their $27.9 billion budget late Tuesday afternoon and plan to have it pass both House and Senate by the end of the week.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

State Board of Elections will rule on GOP request for signature checks on mail-in ballot requests

Proponents tout election security, but opponents say signatures change and predict significant voter disenfranchisement The North Carolina Republican Party wants local county elections officials to set aside requests for absentee ballots and double-check the mail-in ballots themselves based on whether they think voter signatures match.

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