Candidate filing for the 2022 statewide primary has restarted across North Carolina. Filing for the primary and rescheduled municipal elections will continue through March 4.

The N.C. Supreme Court suspended the filing period, which began Dec. 6, and moved the date of the statewide primary and rescheduled municipal elections for May 17, the N.C. Board of Elections says.

Filing finally resumed Thursday after the state Supreme Court refused to jump back into the state’s legal dispute over legislative and congressional redistricting.

Critics of the new maps wanted the high court to strike down a proposal by the Republican-led General Assembly for N.C. Senate election districts. Meanwhile, legislators wanted to reverse a decision by a three-judge panel to throw out a new map for North Carolina’s 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Supreme Court had set a 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday for all appeals of the three-judge panel.

“Choosing to run for an elected office is a major decision,” Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said in a statement. “We want filing to be a smooth and customer-friendly process for all candidates, and we have strived to create an efficient and safe environment for everyone.”

The general election is Nov. 8.

Candidates who filed before the suspension of the filing period do not need to re-file if they still wish to run for the same office, the elections board says.

“However,” says the BOE, “those candidates may withdraw their candidacy during the new filing period and instead file for any other office for which they are eligible. The deadline to withdraw is the close of business on March 1.”

Depending on the office sought, candidates will file their Notices of Candidacy with either their county board of elections or the State Board of Elections, the BOE says.

Statewide candidates will file at the Gov. James G. Martin Building, 4381 Trinity Road in Raleigh on the N.C. State Fairgrounds.

It’s important that voters recheck their districts and review the list of candidates, as redistricting has shifted some boundaries.

Rep. Deborah Ross, a Democrat who represents part of Wake County in the U.S. House, was one of the first to file Thursday morning, Spectrum News reports.

“I’m glad we got through the process, and I think we got a good result for the congressional maps,” she told the station. “I am a veteran of redistricting wars. The first time I ran for office was in 2002, and the maps changed multiple times.”

N.C. House Speaker Rep. Tim Moore, R- Cleveland, thinks otherwise.

“Today’s ruling is nothing short of egregious,” Moore said in a statement, citing the court’s ruling Thursday. “The trial court’s decision to impose a map drawn by anyone other than the legislature is simply unconstitutional and an affront to every North Carolina voter whose representation would be determined by unelected, partisan activists.
“Let me clear: this court has effectively taken a hammer to our state constitution and the rule of law, and I will appeal this ruling with respect to the congressional map immediately on behalf of the voters.”