Former President Donald Trump, who spent months delegitimizing mail-in voting on the campaign trail and social media, blamed these procedures for losing his bid for a second term to President Joe Biden. Trump and his allies have falsely alleged that the election was stolen from him and that millions of illegitimate votes, including in Georgia, put Biden over the top.

After dozens of legal challenges were rebuffed by state election authorities and the courts, Republicans quickly turned their attention to rejiggering state voting laws on the grounds of promoting trust and integrity in elections in ways that Democrats believe targets members of their political base.

The good thing about having enough Democrats in my state legislature to uphold a veto is that we can stop some of those things, he said. Its going to fall on the states in order to fight that off.

Cooper, who won reelection in 2020 in a state Trump carried by less than two percentage points, said the GOP efforts highlight the need for Democrats to play offense in 2022 and grow the number of governors mansions they control across the country.

Nevertheless, Cooper said he hopes to be able to work with the Republican majorities in both houses of North Carolinas General Assembly on things like education, health care and clean energy investment.

“This is a moment we should all grab together, he said.