Please consider this email a formal, filed complaint with the State Board of Elections that our local Watauga BOE and Director have willfully refused to follow the directives of Director Strach's Numbered Memorandum 2016-21 as it related to Poll Observers. This in spite of the fact that it has repeatedly been brought to the Director's attention by several people that the directives are not being followed and in spite of the fact that the Board itself agreed at last night's Board meeting that the memo directives were not being followed.
The memo, which clearly addresses both early and election day voting, states that, "All observers, whether precinct-specific or at-large, may be relived after serving no less than four hours. GS 163-45(a). This means that at least four hours must have passed since the observer began serving before a replacement observer can take over from the prior observer."
Instead, at the ASU Student Union early voting site, while the at-large Democratic observers remain inside the polling location for the 4-hour requisite, the at-large Republican observers come and go at will. They are sometimes there for as little as 10 minutes before leaving. Another then takes that observer's place for perhaps another 15-30 minutes, and then the tag team continues. They are intimidating and, even Director Snyder admits, disruptive.
Yet neither our Director nor the Board will take any action to stop this clear violation without further direction from your offices that Director Strach meant what she wrote in the memo, something you have thus far apparently refused to confirm.
Now our Board is seeking a legal opinion from the County Attorney, Four Eggers, that Director Strach's memo means what it says, and I think we all know how that will go.
I know it is ridiculous that you should have to call or write our local Board and Director to explain to them that Numbered Memo 2016-21 means what it says and says what it means, and that the at-large poll observers must either remain in the polling location for a 4-hour minimum or forfeit the right of another at-large observer(s) taking their place until 4 hours is up, but clearly this is what you are going to need to do in order to ensure that our County Board follows the dictates outlined in the memo.
Again, please consider this a formal filed complaint and a request that you take action on this matter immediately.
NOTE: The people Anne-Marie Yates appointed as "at-large poll observers" who are currently flouting the rules in the ASU Student Union: