Editorial: McCrory, Cooper and state officials must be open in vote-count process
Posted November 14, 2016
A CBC Editorial: Monday, Nov.14, 2016; Editorial# 8081
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company
There is a lot at stake over the next few days as election officials throughout North Carolina examine the votes cast and count provisional and absentee ballots. We agree with Republican Gov. Pat McCrory – who is trailing Democrat Roy Cooper by about 5,000 votes – that everyone must “respect the process.”
“Tens of thousands of absentee and provisional ballots are still outstanding, and we are deploying teams across the state as we speak,” McCrory posted on Facebook. “We must respect the process to ensure all votes are counted.” The governor’s message was also a pitch for money to pay for it all. “I need to know if you can volunteer your time or make a quick contribution to help put us over the finish line.”
What is important isn’t merely that the votes are counted – but that North Carolina citizens know and feel assured that all votes have been counted accurately and fairly.
In that spirit, we call on Gov. McCrory, Attorney General Cooper, the State Board of Elections and the county election offices throughout the state to go the extra mile and provide full and complete transparency in this process.
McCrory, Cooper and the Board of Elections should make any and all communications with local and state officials and agencies, public. The candidates can do this easily by posting them on their campaign websites. The state Board of Elections can do the same.
Partisan politics ends at the polling place door. It is critical that the hyper-partisanship that has marked this current election season doesn’t inappropriately influence the process of making sure every proper vote is counted. All elections boards – state and county – are controlled by Republicans. Many of these officials were hand-picked by McCrory, his close aides or GOP party officials. The executive director of the state board is married to a lawyer who frequently represents the GOP – and the McCrory administration – concerning election and campaign matters.
Roy Cooper’s office is engaged, as part of his official duties, in representing the state’s interests in dealing with election and campaign laws.
While there’s no reason to suggest that anyone has acted in anyway less than professionally, we also take to heart President Ronald Reagan’s admonition. “Trust but verify.”