Statement on Appointment of State Board Members
RALEIGH, N.C. – Governor Roy Cooper today appointed four Democrats and four Republicans to the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement.
“We congratulate the new members of the State Board and are very grateful they chose to serve at this important time. We look forward to getting to work immediately to tackle issues that have come up in the absence of a State Board and continue preparations for the 2018 elections,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, State Board executive director.
Under the newly enacted Session Law 2018-2, the first order of business for the board will be to meet to select two nominees who are not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties. The two names will be submitted to Governor Cooper, who will choose one to fill the final slot on the State Board.
A meeting date hasn’t been set, but state law directs that it be held within 14 days.
Once all members are seated, the State Board office expects that the new members will soon consider:
- Appointments to county boards
- Non-unanimous early voting plans
- Candidate challenge appeals and requests for appointment of panels for multi-county candidate challenges
- Certification of new elections equipment for use by the counties
- Complaints regarding ethics, lobbying and campaign finance regulations
- Green Party recognition
- Adoption of rules
The State Board has general supervisory authority over all elections in North Carolina, as well as ethics, campaign finance and lobbying reporting and compliance.
Strach expressed gratitude to Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway and other judges in Wake County, who heard elections-related cases in the absence of a State Board.
Strach also thanked the 100 county boards of elections, whose work ensured the continuity of elections processes during the 288 days without appointed State Board members.
Without a State Board, county board members that should have been seated in July 2017 could not be appointed, nor have vacancies on those boards been filled. As such, hundreds of county board members have held over since May 2017 and met more than 1,100 times since. Ongoing litigation and court orders meant that the county boards were required to take all action on a unanimous basis.
“We applaud the efforts of county board members and staff who have worked tirelessly with patience and professionalism under trying circumstances,” Strach said.