Thursday, March 06, 2014


Bill Aceto, Luke Eggers, Kathleen Campbell last night.
Photo Lonnie Webster
Watauga Republicans just can't help themselves. As evidenced by the 2-1 vote last night by the Watauga County Board of Elections, it's never enough for the Republican overlords to advantage their rural voters unless they can also disadvantage Boone and its suburbs. Republican BOE majority members Luke Eggers and Bill Aceto voted to establish one Early Voting site for two-thirds of the voters and a total of four Early Voting sites for the other one-third.

Republican Party Chair Anne Marie Yates said in her public comment that 60+ percent of Watauga voters were rural voters, which is just exactly the opposite of the truth. Her statement was so inaccurate that even the word "lie" doesn't quite cover it. Here are the actual numbers of registered voters in the rural precincts (from smallest to largest):
North Fork 151
Beech Mountain 388
Bald Mountain 449
Elk 501
Shawneehaw 604
Beaver Dam 990
Laurel Creek 1,085
Stony Fork 1,755
Cove Creek 2,280
Meat Camp 2,324
Watauga, 2,923
That's 13,450 out of a total of 41,902 registered voters in Watauga County, or a little over 32%. Add in a few more rural voters in the mainly suburban precincts of Blue Ridge, Brushy Fork, the New Rivers, and you might get as high as 37%.

Aceto and Eggers (we need to start naming them in that order, since it's clear that Bill Aceto has seized control of the board from Eggers -- and his shadow brother -- because Eggers doesn't want to be there) voted to place Early Voting sites in Blowing Rock, Deep Gap Fire Department, Meat Camp Fire Department, and the Western Watauga Community Center -- all of which we applaud -- and one site in Boone at the Administration Building on the corner of King and Water streets, which we do not applaud.

The one in-town site will serve all of Boone municipal, all of Appalachian State University (with over 17,000 students, not counting faculty & staff), and the suburban precincts of New River 1, New River 2, New River 3, most of Brushy Fork, and most of Blue Ridge -- a total of 29,808 voters.

Meanwhile, the Deep Gap Fire Department will serve Stony Fork and maybe Elk = total of 2,256 voters.

The Blowing Rock site will serve the Blowing Rock precinct = 2,559 voters.

The Meat Camp Fire Department will serve Meat Camp and Bald Mountain = 2,773 voters.

The Western Watauga Community Center will serve Cove Creek, Laurel Creek and Beaver Dam = 4,355 voters.

If Aceto and Eggers had exhibited anything other than the greediness of Anne Marie Yates, they could have placed an Early Voting site in the ASU Student Union for even three days, to serve some 17,000+ citizens who are on that campus every week, and thereby they could have quelled protest. Instead, they chose to blatantly and publicly proclaim their intention to fence off ASU and compact Boone and its suburbs into a single Early Voting site with little parking and congested streets.

During the meeting last night, acting chair Bill Aceto actually bragged that the board's Early Voting plan for the municipal elections last year increased voter turn-out. That drew laughter from the crowd in the room. Yes, the Aceto/Eggers implementation plan last fall to suppress students from voting made so many voters of both major parties so angry that they came out in droves to defeat the Anne Marie Yates slate of candidates. We don't expect that anger at Aceto & Eggers to evaporate in 2014.

And get this: Aceto and Eggers also mandated in their Early Voting plan for 2014 that all Early Voting sites will close their doors at 4 p.m. I'm not making this up. It's a bizarre decision that makes no sense, and especially makes no sense for their own Republican rural voters, because who gets off work before 4 p.m.? That's not just a stupid decision. It's evil.

Because the vote on Aceto's Early Voting plan was again not unanimous, it must go to Raleigh for a decision by the State Board of Elections, along with Kathleen Campbell's alternative plan, which calls for a site on the ASU campus. We expect no favors from the partisan Republicans on the State Board of Elections, but clearly, Aceto expects a rubber-stamp.

Will fair-minded Watauga voters rise up again to show their anger at this blatant discrimination?


Anonymous said...

And just what are we supposed to do? I made verbal and written comments at the meeting about early voting, as did nearly everyone else there, the board acknowledged IN THE NEWSPAPER that many of us spoke up for voting on campus for the Watauga County folks who work on campus....not just the students, who may or may not be interested in the issues. And their decision was the OPPOSITE of wat they admitted made the most sense.

If the state board rubber-stamps, what are we supposed to do?

Lucille K. said...

"What are we supposed to do?" Here's a suggestion: break our frigging necks to get ourselves in to Vote Early and make sure that everyone else we know does the same. That's all we can do until we have a new governor in this state ... which is coming, folks. He's on his way!

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to imagine that they could present and approve such a blatantly unfair plan without acknowledging the shame that must accompany such a plan.

Has all sense of decency left the local Republican Party? I thought there were some decent Republicans, but I'm beginning to doubt.

If they really care about fairness, I think the decent Republicans should denounce this plan!

Anonymous said...

Hey, here's a thought. We could walk a couple blocks to the courthouse and vote. Seems like a small price to pay!

Janet Montgomery said...

Contact Watauga County Voice for Voter Rights at New website - but our Facebook page has been going well. There will be strategic action published there in the future. Stay tuned, and don't give up. And remind Republican friends that all those working people doing 8-5 jobs are going to have a hard time, too, and a lot of them are Republicans!

Anonymous said...

If you want to vote early, go vote early. Nothing is stopping you.

Liberal POV said...

Lucille K

"What are we supposed to do?"

Vote as an informed citizen, become an activist, support the good guys running against the banana republic mentality now in control of the GOP. Repost on Social media factual information, fact check it before reposting, become involved. Fight the crazy movement.

Anonymous said...

If anyone can provide a reason for refusing to establish voting sites in both rural areas and also on the ASU campus other than VOTER SUPPRESSION AND/OR REVENGE, please post them.

Whatshisname said...

Sure, Anonymous. We can walk a couple of blocks. Stand in line a couple of hours. And walk back. And we will. But it would have been much more democratic and much more American to have had the historical early voting site at ASU to make it easier for the Americans on campus, both Democratic and Republican, to exercise their CONSTITUTIONAL right to vote. Instead the fascist Watauge BOE does all it can to make it as difficult to vote as they possibly can. Oh, that, Constitution. The Republicans like to talk about it but, having not read it, don't have a clue as to what it really says. Instead, they think that whatever partisan, bigoted, mean-spirited thought flitting cross their neurons must therefore be in the Constitution whether it is or not. Putin is awfully proud of you guys as I'm sure you are of him. Birds of a feather and all that.

Anonymous said...

Why would you stand in line a "couple of hours"? Easrly voting was at the admin center last year and had RECORD turnouts without anyone waiting in line. I think you are just making crap up because the facts dont support you.

And its pretty clear when you have to resort to the insults and name calling that you have nothing of substance to offer.

If you are that lazy, maybe you should just get at absentee ballot. I am sure you could find someone to help you fill it out.

Anonymous said...

I want to propose that you consider how a Democrat might try to explain the following:
1. The BoE invited the public to an "input" meeting at which no notes or tallies were taken.
2. You read in the paper that Aceto said 90% requested a voting site on campus.
3. You arrive at the BoE meeting and observe a half-dozen people outside holding sarcastic signs about pizza.
4. The BoE votes not to have a voting site on campus but gives no reason.

Please answer this: why did they have the "input" meeting?


The BOE voted to not have an early voting place at my job either. Like the great majority of Americans, I will actually have to leave my place of work to go vote early. Most of us will have a voting place within a few miles. ASU will have one within a few blocks of campus. Maybe, if the costs didnt matter, we could put a polling place within a half mile of every voter - you know, like we have for ASU voters? Then, if we had enough money left over, we could consider one within a quarter mile of each voter? Would that satisfy MOST of you?

What a bunch of whiners!
"Oh poor us, we might lose our parking place if we have to leave our office to go vote". (whiner in local news blog)(of course the whiner could vote on way to work, on way home, on Saturday, when leaving office for other purposes during voting hours, or could actually WALK a few blocks or take the FREE Appalcart)

Bitch, bitch, bitch. You whining entitlement babies make most normal people sick!