RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - New rules for elections and opioid prescribers are among roughly 20 state laws taking effect in 2018.

Trial and appellate court elections are supposed to be officially partisan races again. But judicial primaries for this year are cancelled right now while debate among Republicans continues over judicial redistricting and whether to replace head-to-head elections.

RELATED: New NC Law To Curb Opioid Abuse Takes Effect Jan. 1

Meanwhile, thresholds for a new political party or an unaffiliated candidate to get on a ballot are now lower.

A drug abuse prevention law also now limits how many opioids a doctor can initially prescribe a patient.

Another law addressing recent violent encounters between motorists and police directs the Division of Motor Vehicles to put information about traffic stops and a driver's appropriate response to them in the state driver's license handbook.

Click here for more information on new and existing laws

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