The full State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement got right to business Tuesday, appointing all 100 four-member county boards of elections and approving a petition to officially recognize the North Carolina Green Party.
It’s the first time the board has met with all nine newly-appointed members, though it was conducted via teleconference. There was only one disagreement along party lines at this meeting, and it involved the appointment of the Cleveland County Board of Elections.
The Board approved the first and second choice recommendations from the state Republican and Democratic parties for all county boards of elections, except in Cleveland, Halifax and Robeson. It was an 8-1 vote with John Lewis, a Republican board member, voting against it because he thought all counties should be included.
Vice Chairman Joshua Malcolm put forth a motion in Cleveland County to appoint Republicans’ second and third choices, which meant their top, experienced pick, Joseph “Wayne” King, would no longer serve.
Malcolm described it as a “judgement call” and said there were some concerns about how elections had been previously carried out in Cleveland County.
Stacy Eggers, a Republican board member, said it was a break from tradition. Lewis agreed and said it was a blatant partisan move and that the board should own up to that to be transparent.
Damon Circosta, the unaffiliated ninth member who was appointed to the board last week, tried to stay neutral and propose an amendment to also appoint the Democrats’ second and third choices, but Malcolm rejected it. Circosta ultimately voted with the Democratic board members in a 5-4 approval to not appoint King.
The county board members who were appointed Tuesday will serve until at least June 25, 2019 (full list below this post).
In other business, the board voted unanimously to recognize the Green Party as an official political party in North Carolina.
Recognition of the Green Party means voters will have another choice of party affiliation when registering to vote, according to a news release from the agency. Voters may register with the Democratic, Green, Libertarian or Republican parties, or they can register as unaffiliated.
It also means that Green Party candidates, chosen by convention in 2018, will appear on ballots in this year’s Nov. 6 general election.
The Board is updating and will distribute new voter registration forms that include the Green Party option. Until then, voters can register with the Green Party by checking the “Other” box and writing “Green” on the line in “Political Party Affiliation” section of the voter registration application.
The board also appointed panels to hear candidate challenges in six multi-county General Assembly districts. They are as follows (chair in bold):
- House District 22: Bobby Ludlum, R-Bladen, chair; G.H. Wilson, D-Sampson; and Horace Bass, D-Sampson
- House District 67: Karmen Mock, R-Stanly; Ronald Wayne Burris Jr., D-Stanly, chair; David Black, R-Cabarrus
- Senate District 1: Johnny Sessoms III, D-Hertford; Alice Malesky, R-Currituck; William M. Sawyer, D-Camden; Donna Elms, R-Dare, chair; Alice Mackey, D-Hyde
- Senate District 11: John Shallcross, R-Johnston, chair; Gordon C. Woodruff, D-Johnston; Kelly Shore, D-Nash
- Senate District 21: Jeff Long, R-Cumberland; Harvey Wright Raynor III, D-Cumberland, chair; Robert Vaughn, R-Hoke
- Senate District 34: Alan G. Carpenter, D-Iredell, chair; Paul Mills, R-Iredell; Claude Wiseman, R-Yadkin
See below for a full list of county boards of elections appointees: