Newly appointed members of the State Board of Elections say they will start their tenure Wednesday with no marching orders as to who should serve as their most senior staff member or how to pursue a high-profile campaign finance investigation. Gov. Pat McCrory appointed five new members to the board Friday, sweeping out incumbents with decades of experience. Each governor makes his or her own appointments to the board, based on recommendations from the chairman of the Republican and Democratic parties. But a 20-year run of Democratic governors – Jim Hunt, Mike Easley and Bev Perdue – has led to stability among the boards’ membership.
Board terms last four years, and the current board’s tenure expires Tuesday.
The five-member state board is responsible for overseeing all elections in the state. Not only does it set policy and manage state and federal funding for elections administrations, it also serves as an appeals panel for decisions made by county boards of elections.
Members also oversee campaign finance investigations and can fine candidates who don’t comply with the law or refer actions for prosecutions. Complaints first heard by the board have led to criminal findings against political figures like former House Speaker Jim Black, Gov. Mike Easley and Rep. Thomas Wright, all Democrats, and Republican Rep. Mike Decker.
The makeup of the board is determined by the party of the sitting governor. Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, has appointed three GOP members, including Josh Howard of Wake County. Maja Kricker of Chatham County and Joshua Malcolm of Robeson County will be the two Democrats.
Full Article: New elections board will face big decisions :: WRAL.com.