CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Political races are heating up all across North Carolina as the election is just weeks away.
With republicans already holding a majority of seats in the general assembly, we wanted to look at what it would take for the GOP to win a supermajority and how that would affect the checks and balances of state government.
Taking a look into the North Carolina General Assembly, you will find republicans hold most of the seats. What would it take for the GOP to claim a supermajority, and how will that affect the powers of the governor, who is a Democrat?
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"The key when it comes to supermajorities in both chambers of the North Carolina general assembly is the number 3/5, 30 in the Senate, which has 50 seats, and 72 which, is the house, with 120 seats," Bitzer said.
So how can republicans get a supermajority in Raleigh again?
Out of the 120 seats in the North Carolina House of Representatives, 69 are republicans, and 51 are democrats. In the Senate, Republicans currently have 28 of the 50 seats. To pick up a supermajority, they would need to win both three more seats in the house and two in the Senate.
But why does it Matter if Republicans won a supermajority in the legislature?
"If a party gets to those numbers respectively in both chambers, what they are able to do if they are unified is to override a governor's veto," Bitzer said.
Even if the general assembly passes a bill, on a majority vote, the governor can veto the bill, which prevents it from becoming law. However, if any party holds a supermajority, which is three-fifths of the votes, if they hang together, they can override the governor's veto and allow the measure to become law anyway.
Bitzer tells WCNC that for democrats, it would be nearly impossible to gain a simple majority in both House and Senate because they would need to win almost every contested seat. He says the best democrats can hope for is to stop republicans from winning a supermajority this cycle.
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