Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that he’ll make appointments to a long-delayed new State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement this week while simultaneously continuing to fight the Republican-mandated changes to the board in court. The appointments would allow the organization, which has staff but no appointed board, to clear a backlog of work ahead of this year’s elections. Among other things, the board appoints county boards of elections. Those local boards oversee election logistics, including approving early voting sites and certifying election equipment. Twenty-five of North Carolina’s 100 counties, including Wake and Cumberland counties, do not have functioning boards because they have too few members. Cooper’s announcement was made as part of a press release titled “Governor’s Office Comment on GOP’s Continued Effort to Rig Elections.”
Cooper and his fellow Democrats have argued that the Republican changes made after he beat Gov. Pat McCrory in the 2016 gubernatorial race were an effort to wrest power away from his office and to limit voting rights. Republicans chastise Cooper for saying a bipartisan board could be a negative for the state. A spokesman for Speaker of the House Tim Moore said Wednesday that it’s “well past time” for the governor to make his appointments.
The elections board has traditionally had five members, with the majority belonging to the governor’s party. The new board would have nine members, four from each party and one from neither party, a set-up the Republican majority tacked into a broader House Bill 90 during the last legislative session after a long-running lawsuit from the governor voided the legislature’s previous board plans.
Full Article: Cooper agrees to appoint Board of Elections :: WRAL.com.