Make Boards of Elections Nonpartisan

The changes to the makeup of the state and county boards of elections proposed by the Republicans is just another attempt to consolidate their stranglehold on the electoral system, the state Libertarian Party chair said in a statement today.

“Don’t be fooled. Calling this a bipartisan board is a smokescreen to hide the fact that this proposal is designed to shut-out the fastest growing segment of registered voters – independents and alternative parties,” said Brian Irving.

“In more than half North Carolina’s counties, unaffiliated voters outnumber either Republicans or Democrats, including Wake, Durham, and Mecklenburg. In eight counties, they outnumber both. And if the trend continues, unaffiliated voters will soon be the second largest group in the state, surpassing the Republicans.

“Ten years ago, there were fewer than a million unaffiliated voters. Today, that number has nearly doubled. Unaffiliated voters make up one-third of the registration rolls. The record early voter turnout for the November election was due in large part to a 40 percent increase in unaffiliated voter participation.

“So why do the establishment parties continue to ignore the interests of this major voting block? Republicans have two choices; they can try to reach out to unaffiliated voters, or they can try to shut them out. They have chosen the latter course of action.

“If the Republicans and Democrats want to reform the management of our elections, they should make the boards of elections non-partisan groups, and open membership to unaffiliated voters and other parties. At the very least, they should give unaffiliated voters a seat at the table.

“The Libertarian Party of North Carolina advocates amending state law to provide a process enabling unaffiliated voters to serve on boards of election."

Read the bill here.

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