Thursday, December 02, 2004

SBOE Decision for Carteret Re-Vote Takes Fire

No one is happy with the compromise decision by the State Board of Elections on Tuesday to allow a re-vote for Secretary of Agriculture in just Carteret County. The sticking point has become WHO gets to vote ... not only the 4,400 voters whose ballots were lost but also some 20,000 other registered voters in the county who didn't bother to show up at the polls on November 2nd.

"The State Board of Elections flubbed it," opined the Charlotte Observer. The board's decision "is probably illegal, maybe unconstitutional and wholly inappropriate for the problem."

The Durham Herald-Sun: "If there is anything Solomonic in the State Board of Elections' decision to hold a revote in Carteret County to settle the agriculture commissioner race, it is hard to discern."

The Raleigh News & Observer headlined its editorial "Carteret Follies" and offered this assessment: "...why will 20,000 people who didn't vote the first time get another shot? That's ridiculous, and smacks of a decision awash in goofy partisanship."

But whose partisanship? Unfortunately, in this instance it appears to have been the Democratic members of the State Board (who hold the majority) who rejected the commonsensical solution of allowing just those voters whose ballots were lost by computer error to revote.

The Democrats on the State BOE are trying to redeem this election for Britt Cobb (just as the Republicans are maneuvering for Steve Troxler). Without the missing Carteret 4,400, Cobb is behind Troxler statewide by 2,300 votes. By all reports we've seen, Carteret is a pretty Republican county and no one we've heard of expects a majority of those 4,400 voters to swing to Cobb. Apparently, the Democrats on the State BOE think Cobb's chances will be enhanced if he can go campaigning for those other 20,000 non-active voters. Even in the unlikely event that the outcome changes in Cobb's favor, the Democrats don't need the public relations black eye this has already become.

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