@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Early primary could cost NC Dems, GOP

Posted August 21, 2013

— All 300 members of county election boards across North Carolina underwent training in Cary Wednesday, and the recent changes to the state's voting laws made that training more complicated than usual.

Each of the 100 county election boards has three members, and by custom, the majority on each is from the same party as the governor. Because Pat McCrory is the first Republican governor in more than two decades, there's been a lot of turnover on county boards.

"About half of them are new to their board and have not previously served on a board," said Josh Howard, chairman of the State Board of Elections. "There's a lot of rules for that – open meetings laws, limits on political speech and activity – and so we're here to remind them and educate them as to those obligations."

They're also struggling to absorb all the changes lawmakers made to election laws this summer, from the voter identification requirement to mandating paper ballots. Counties that use electronic voting will have to buy all new machines.

The new law also gives North Carolina two primary elections in presidential years. The presidential primary will move up to February in 2016, while the rest of the primary will continue to take place in May.

Election booths County elections boards face turnover, new state laws

The change will cost counties more money, although Howard couldn't say yet how much. It also could cost both the North Carolina Democratic Party and the North Carolina Republican Party delegates to the national nominating conventions.

Both parties have fairly strict rules about primary dates for different states and the order in which they're held, and they penalize the state parties when those primary rules are broken.

"Ultimately, it's not for us as board members to have opinions as to the merits of any of these moves," Howard said of the raft of changes to the state's election laws. "It's for us to implement them. We're given the law by the legislature and the governor. Some of these laws have been challenged in court, and they may be changed as a result of judicial ruling. We'll see how that goes, but once we know what the law is, we're going to implement it as it reads."

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  • soapbox Aug 23, 6:57 a.m.

    "17 trillion in debt and climbing" - whatelseisnew

    Sources please?

    Federal Debt: As of July 16, the amount the Treasury owed to the public (the federal debt) was 11.9 trillion, not 17 trillion.

    Federal Spending: Federal spending for the current fiscal year increased a modest 6.7%. Compare that to the Bush administration's record - 1st term (33% increase in spending) and 2nd term (34% increase).

    http://www.factcheck.org/2013/07/obamas-numbers-july-update/

    Deficits: The deficit is falling. Deficits, as a percentage of GDP, dropped from a high of 10.1 % in 2009 to 7% in 2012 and are continuing to fall rapidly.

  • miseem Aug 22, 7:19 p.m.

    I do not DO lesser of two evils, votes. I would love to see "none of the above" be made a valid vote, so if a given position draws the majority of the votes for none of the above, that position simply remains vacant until the next election cycle.whatelseisnew.

    Finally, something I agree with you on. I'm not sure of the part on leaving the post open, but anyone that lost to "none of the above" cannot run in that cycle, and the follow-up ballot must be held within 30 days. Although it would not be a regular occurrence, I think it would happen enough to put at least a little fear into both parties.

  • miseem Aug 22, 7:12 p.m.

    NO we have had ZERO input because of the timing. You could have a million delegates, if the decision has already been made, they do not much matter.whatelseisnew.

    If I recall, in the last election, Romney did not clinch the delegate count until late May. The NC primary was in early May. But the decision was already made? I guess we do need voter ID in NC. At least in the Republican primaries.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 22, 2:59 p.m.

    "Actually, no, we'll have less input as we will be sending fewer delegates to the conventions. Having 2 primaries seems to me to be a needless complication and cost."

    NO we have had ZERO input because of the timing. You could have a million delegates, if the decision has already been made, they do not much matter. The conventions now really do not PICK the nominee as used to be the case. Really the conventions are nothing more than a lovely party time boondoggle.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 22, 2:57 p.m.

    "The changes will cost us more money by forcing two primaries during presidential years. The GOP is supposed to be the party of fiscal conservatives."

    Not everyone that is in a given party is Conservative. Washington should be ample proof of that. 17 trillion in debt and climbing. The GOP controlled House could END the deficit spending tomorrow by simply refusing to appropriate the money, but they do not have the guts to do it.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 22, 2:55 p.m.

    Time to get rid of the parties and get rid of primaries. I don't get to vote in primaries. As a result when I get a ballot I get to see that as usual we mostly have extremely lousy choices. Most of my ballot ends up being blank. I do not DO lesser of two evils, votes. I would love to see "none of the above" be made a valid vote, so if a given position draws the majority of the votes for none of the above, that position simply remains vacant until the next election cycle. We might actually start seeing some decent candidates that way instead of the trash that both parties put forward.

  • glarg Aug 22, 1:18 p.m.

    Wait- the election boards are going to have to understand the laws?

    Oh noooo! Everyone panic.

  • geoherb1 Aug 22, 10:54 a.m.

    The changes will cost us more money by forcing two primaries during presidential years. The GOP is supposed to be the party of fiscal conservatives.

  • archmaker Aug 22, 10:41 a.m.

    the high turnover and new majority on the county election boards would certainly explain why some of the boards like pasquotank county either don't know or don't care about the laws they are not following.

  • junkmail5 Aug 22, 9:37 a.m.

    Don't understand changing machines. What's the story there?- undefeated

    Probably the company selling the "new" machines is owned by a buddy of someone in the general assembly.

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