When last we left Watauga County, home of the moving early voting sites at Appalachian State University, members of its board of elections had just received a tongue-lashing from the state board, which implored the Watauga folks to behave.
“You guys need to get along,” said state board chair Josh Howard. “I saw this on YouTube. This is not how elections in North Carolina need to be run.”
“I strongly encourage you to be cordial, cooperative and transparent as you consider making decisions that affect the people – whether they are college students, veterans or people who live in temporary housing,” state board member Joshua Malcolm added.
That was early September, when county board chair Luke Eggers and secretary Bill Aceto — both Republicans — were answering questions about how they’d allegedly excluded their Democratic colleague, Kathleen Campbell, from discussions about voting sites.
Well, judging from allegations in a complaint recently filed against Eggers and Aceto, all is not copacetic in Watauga.
Three county residents (unhappy Democrats, Eggers labeled them in this WRAL report) have asked the state board to remove Eggers and Aceto from the county board because of “official misconduct, participation in intentional irregularities, unethical actions, and incapacity and incompetency to the discharge the duties of their offices.”
Some of the allegations predate the state board hearing in September, though not all relate to the fracas over voting sites. For example, the residents allege that Eggers and Aceto have improperly allowed Eggers’ brother, county attorney “Four” Eggers, to function as a “behind-the-scenes” board member.
(There are apparently several Eggers at the law firm of Eggers, Eggers, Eggers, & Eggers, but it’s Stacy C. Eggers IV, who goes by the name “Four,” who’s been implicated.)
Other allegations concern conduct occurring after the state hearing but similar to that which led to the state board’s rebuke — including, for example, that Eggers and Aceto ignored requests for additions to meeting agenda, failed to allow the introduction of new business at meetings, and inaccurately recorded minutes of meetings.