State board puts the Green Party on NC ballots

The N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement were sworn in by N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin. From left to right: Member Joshua Malcolm; Member Stacy “Four” Eggers IV; Chairman Andy Penry; Chief Justice Mark Martin; Member Ken Raymond; Member Valerie Johnson; Member Stella Anderson; Member John Lewis. (Not pictured are Members Jay Hemphill and Damon Circosta)

RALEIGH, N.C. – The nine members of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement unanimously voted Tuesday to put the N.C. Green Party on voter ballots across the state, along with Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians.  It also allows voters to register an affiliation with the Green Party and means that Green Party candidates, chosen by convention in 2018, will appear on ballots in this year’s Nov. 6 general election.

A state law passed last year allows N.C. ballot access to a party that has a presidential candidate on at least 70 percent of state ballots nationwide. The Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, was on 38 state ballots in 2016 general election. N.C. Green Party co-chair Anthony Ndeuge requested that the party be added to the ballot in a letter to the board executive director Kim Westbrook Strach, in December, but action was postponed until the complete N.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement was seated. Now that the Green Party is an official party in the state, the State Board says they will distribute new voter registration forms that include the Green Party option. Until then, voters may register with the Green Party by checking the “Other” box and writing “Green” on the line in “Political Party Affiliation” section of the voter registration application.

The Board, tasked with overseeing elections in N.C., as well as campaign finance and ethics, also approved four members, two Republicans and two Democrats, for each of the 100 county boards of elections and their chairs, chosen from lists submitted by the county parties.  The county-by-county list of board appointees is available here.

“We congratulate the 400 newly appointed county board members across the state and look forward to working with them to administer fair and accurate elections in 2018 and beyond,” said Strach, in a press release Tuesday evening.

A point of contention came in the move to pass over Cleveland County Republicans’ top pick for their county board, current elections board chairman Wayne King, a Republican. Without giving details, state board member Joshua Malcolm, a Democrat, said the motion not to seat King was based on his own “judgment” that the county would be “better served” without King on the county Board of Elections. Republicans voted against the measure. Democrats and the unaffiliated member, Damon Circosta, voted in favor.

“This is a partisan motion to remove Mr. King from the board of elections. Let’s be transparent about that,” said Republican member John Lewis.

Circosta, executive director of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, was selected by Gov. Roy Cooper on March 21 to fill the ninth seat on the board after the eight members nominated him and former Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court Burley Mitchell.

Finally, the board appointed panels to hear candidate challenges in six multicounty General Assembly districts. The appointed members of the panels are:

House District 22: Bobby Ludlum, R-Bladen (chair); G.H. Wilson, D-Sampson; and Horace Bass, D-Sampson

House District 67: Karmen Mock, R-Stanly; Ronald Wayne Burris Jr., D-Stanly (chair); David Black, R-Cabarrus

Senate District 1: Johnny Sessoms III, D-Hertford; Alice Malesky, R-Currituck; William M. Sawyer, D-Camden; Donna Elms, R-Dare (chair); Alice Mackey, D-Hyde

Senate District 11: John Shallcross, R-Johnston (chair); Gordon C. Woodruff, D-Johnston; Kelly Shore, D-Nash

Senate District 21: Jeff Long, R-Cumberland; Harvey Wright Raynor III, D-Cumberland (chair); Robert Vaughn, R-Hoke

Senate District 34: Alan G. Carpenter, D-Iredell (chair); Paul Mills, R-Iredell; Claude Wiseman, R-Yadkin