As it turns out, half of the original nominees for the new State Board of Elections provided by the state Republican and Democratic parties were ineligible to serve.
Both the state Republican and Democratic parties have since each made two new nominations. Gov. Roy Cooper can appoint the new five-member Board as early as tomorrow.
The Republican nominees are now: David Black, of Concord; Ken Raymond of Winston Salem, who served on the most recent State Board and who owns and manages Triad Notary Service; Stacy Eggers IV, who also served on the most recent State Board, and who is currently the Watauga County attorney (he was involved in voter suppression resolutions there while moonlighting as a personal legal advisor to his brother, chairman of the Watauga County Board of Elections); and Edwin Wilbur Woodhouse Jr., cousin to Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse.
Francis Xavier Deluca, retired president of conservative Civitas Institute, and Buck Newton III, a former conservative state senator who ran for state Attorney General against current AG Josh Stein, were two of the Republican Party’s initial nominations, but it turned out they were ineligible to serve because they had been involved in electioneering in the past 48 months.
The law creating the new State Board, House Bill 1029, lists several disqualifying factors for appointed members in addition to electioneering, including state employees and candidates for nomination or election to any public office.
The Democratic nominees are now: Bill Bell, former Mayor of Durham; Jeff Carmon, a Durham attorney; Stella Anderson, who served on the most recent State Board and who works as a professor at Appalachian State University; and Robert Cordle, a retired attorney who replaced the vice chair of the most recent State Board.
Greg Flynn, who currently serves on the Wake County Board of Elections, and Valerie Johnson, who also served on the most recent State Board and who is currently an attorney and member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), were two of the Democratic Party’s initial nominations, but it turned out they too were ineligible for service on the new Board on account of the same electioneering provision, according to a letter (available below) from Cooper’s office sent today to Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin.
The new Board can be appointed as early as tomorrow. NC Policy Watch reported last week that Johnson could be ineligible for service, but Democratic Party spokesman Robert Howard said she was “grandfathered” in to the new law because of her service on the most recent State Board.
The part of the law creating the new State Board doesn’t take effect until tomorrow, but the grandfathering provision took effect when other parts of HB 1029 did on Dec. 27, according to Howard. The previous State Board was not dissolved until noon Dec. 28.
It turns out, however, that the grandfather provision only applies to state employees who previously served on the State Board.
The provision reads: “The requirements of G.S. 163-19(f)(5) shall not apply to any member of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement serving on the effective date of this act who is appointed to the State Board of Elections in 2019.”
G.S. 163-19(f)(5) is the part of the bill that prohibits state employees from serving on the new Board.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect new appointments from the state Democratic Party.