Bill Calls For End To NC Runoff Elections

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A group of Republican lawmakers want to get rid of the costly runoffs that usually draw less than 10 percent of North Carolina voters.

A House bill would allow the top-vote getter to win a party's primary no matter what. Currently, a candidate needs at least 40 percent of the vote to win a primary outright. Otherwise, the top two candidates go to a runoff.

The bill's lead sponsor Dennis Riddell of Snow Camp said runoffs waste millions and bring out few voters.

Last year, 35 percent of voters turned out for May primaries, while turnout for the July runoffs was less than 4 percent.

Critics of the proposal say the current system is designed to prevent candidates in a crowded field to win a party's nomination with slim support.