Sunday, August 11, 2013

What Anne Marie Yates Told the Watauga Democrat

Republican Party Chair Anne Marie Yates gave an interview to Kellen Short of the Watauga Democrat about the surprise special meeting of the Watauga County Board of Elections that got called late Thursday afternoon. Here are the relevant paragraphs from Kellen Short's article:
An agenda released Friday states the board will consider a resolution to recombine Boone precincts and adopt a new one-stop implementation plan for 2013 municipal elections.
Anne Marie Yates, chairwoman of the Watauga County Republican Party, said the intention was to switch Boone from three precincts into one, with one voting site. 
Those precinct voting sites are currently located at the Watauga County Administration Building, at ASU's Plemmons Student Union and at the Agricultural Conference Center. Yates would not say where the single voting site would be located.
"It will eliminate the expense of running two other polling places and combine it all into one," Yates said. "It's still very convenient for everyone to go and vote. The location has ample parking."
Yates would not elaborate on possible changes to the one-stop plan for this fall's municipal elections.
"That'll all come to light on Monday," she said.
The board also may relocate the Meat Camp and New River 3 polling places, as well as the Seven Devils site, and is expected to consider a resolution establishing a public comment process for the board.
Yates said the board was considering moving the Meat Camp site from Green Valley School to an undisclosed location, the New River 3 site from the National Guard Armory to an undisclosed location, and the Seven Devils site from Foscoe Fire Department to Seven Devils Town Hall.
"I'll let (the board members) tell you what the location is," Yates said regarding the Meat Camp and New River 3 locations. "I don't want to steal their thunder and the reasons for it."
She said the board is trying to keep voting out of the schools because it can be disruptive, referencing a dispute last fall about whether students were allowed in the Green Valley gym during voting.
Obvious Observation No. 1: Anne Marie Yates is apparently dictating policy to the Board of Elections, or at the very least, colluding with Republican board members, in a way that is calculated to disrupt Boone's municipal elections in the same year that Yates's own brother Mark Templeton is running for Boone Town Council, at the head of the Templeton ticket. How does that grab you, Boone?

Obvious Observation No. 2: Coyness in this particular situation ("Yates would not elaborate .... 'That'll all come to light on Monday' ") is extremely condescending and an insult to the whole concept of open decisions openly arrived at.

Obvious Observation No. 3: Yates's condescension extends even to the two new Republican board members, whom she refers to as though they were slightly slow children of hers: "I'll let them tell you what the location is [for Meat Camp and New River 3]. I don't want to steal their thunder...."

Apparently, under another agenda item ("Assign Elections Duty"), new Republican board chair Four Luke Eggers intends to decree that elections supervisor Jane Anne Hodges will not talk to the press in the future. Given the above performance by Ms. Yates, we might suggest that Mr. Eggers include the chairwoman of the Republican Party under the same prohibition.


Anonymous said...

On what basis are precincts being combined? Number of voters? If it is the number of voters in the precincts, what other county precincts could be combined using that criteria? And why is this being done? I believe that changes such as this have to be advertised in the newspaper x number of days prior to the election, and that may account for the rush to hold a meeting. Is there any required time period for public input? Should the NC Board of Elections be contacted?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the Republican majority of the county commission be criticizing the Board of Elections for its lack of transparency? I wonder if the county attorney will release a new memo on ethics and the requirements of the Open Meetings law, like he did when the commission said it wasn't allowed to mediate its dispute with Boone?

Anonagain said...

All of this stuff is just too incestuous for my taste. The chair of the Republican Party is fiddling with the Boone town precincts while her brother is running for Town Council, while the brother of the attorney for the Republican-controlled county commissioners is now dictating policy to the director of elections. This is about as blatant as it gets, and it seems they're not even trying to hide their obvious conflicts of interest. I hope that the voters of Boone hand them their asses this November!

Anonymous said...

WELCOME to Boone where they are still in the "DEMO" phase of democracy and transparency is visible only by the chosen, who have Rose Colored Glasses! Most importantly a Town where "WE the PEOPLE" is replaced by "I and ME"... It is a SAD day, no wonder America is so screwed up and the constant antics are making Boone, North Carolina nothing but a laughing stock for all the world to read about. Grow Up Boone Town Clowns! ~ Michael Williams 2013