The State Board of Elections on Sunday rejected a request from Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign to take over election protest reviews, instead setting a 10 a.m. Tuesday meeting to set guidelines for counties to address the complaints. The McCrory campaign has been involved in filing dozens of elections protests regarding dead voters, felon voters, people voting twice and absentee ballot concerns – some of which were rejected by Republican-led county election boards on Friday. Campaign manager Russell Peck asked the state board to rule on all complaints. County elections boards must rule on the complaints first before their decision can be appealed to the State Board of Elections. In a rare “emergency” meeting on Sunday, the state board didn’t rule out the possibility of reviewing election complaints – but it left the initial responsibility with county boards.
“It would be a mistake for this board to take up protests,” said board member Joshua Malcolm, a Democrat. “(Counties) need to make fact-finding decisions.” Peck argued that his proposal would “prevent inconsistent results among the counties and facilitate a quicker resolution.”
But Bob Hall of the nonprofit Democracy North Carolina says the change would have the opposite effect. “I think this would delay it a lot if they took all of those protests and took charge of them,” Hall said Sunday. “The fact-finding can be done better at the local level.”
To determine whether a voter is eligible, election officials must review public records to confirm whether the voter died after casting an absentee ballot, is serving an active felony sentence or voted in another state.