|Cartoon by Andrew Cox|
In the elections of 2014, while the Terrible Three were denying an Early Voting site for the campus of ASU, they were insisting that the town of Blowing Rock must have an Early Voting site, and Blowing Rock did indeed get their Early Voting polling site.
Now it's 2015, and the Terrible Three are claiming that Early Voting in Blowing Rock would jeopardize the integrity of the election process.
Why? All four municipalities in the county were asked -- at the suggestion of Kim Strach, executive director of the state Board of Elections -- if they would like to have Early Voting set up in their towns, understanding up front that they would be paying the freight for that service. Seven Devils and Beech Mountain both replied "no thanks," but Blowing Rock and the Town of Boone replied, "Yes, please!"
The Terrible Three were in a quandary. How could they give Early Voting in the municipal elections to Blowing Rock and deny it to Boone? You can almost hear the little wheels in their brains grinding: No, better not give it to either, as the unequal treatment might attract unwelcome attention.
So they denied the requested Early Voting sites to both towns, mainly to keep from having one on the campus of ASU. Got it?
|Aceto and Eggers|
The last time Mr. Howard et al. made that decision for Watauga -- 2014, --a law suit was filed and was ultimately successful against the State Board of Elections for siding with EggersEggers&Aceto. A Superior Court judge in Wake County ordered the State Board to place an Early Voting site on the ASU campus. The SBOE complied with that order the day before Early Voting was to begin. (Mere minutes after that SBOE decision, the state's Supreme Court weighed in -- without actually stopping the SBOE's decision. The State Supremes ordered the SBOE back into the NC Court of Appeals, which had already declined to stay the superior court judge's order. Nothing would be adjudicated until after the 2014 election was over.)
So ASU got its Early Voting site in the general elections of 2014, and as a matter of fact, more voters voted early at that site per hour than at any other Watauga County Early Voting site.
|"Four" Eggers, master mind|
In its subsequent appeal to the NC Court of Appeals (heard this very morning, as a matter of fact, in Raleigh), the SBOE only wanted one issue adjudicated. Even though the "harm" in Anderson et al. v. SBOE is now moot (meaning that since that election is over, the injury to voters once at stake is now of only academic interest), the SBOE nevertheless wants the Court of Appeals to rule that the plaintiffs in Anderson et al. v. SBOE (students unfairly discriminated against in the matter of ballot access) didn't go to the right court and that they should have to file a different type of law suit that would cost a lot more money and take a lot more work in a very constrained time-frame. The SBOE also argued that it was not acting in a quasi-judicial role when it refused an ASU Early Voting site, because it never issued findings nor considered evidence, even though it was supposed to. Therefore, the SBOE argued, the SBOE cannot be held accountable. Anderson et al. argued that the case is indeed moot, that the students won, and that the SBOE (not to forget EggersEggers&Aceto) are full of shit (okay, I paraphrased that last part).
It may take the Court of Appeals up to 90 days to decide what they can do with this case. In the meantime, the exact same issues are now guaranteed to land with a thud on the collective desks of the SBOE. Are they ready for round two, or will someone of the Republican persuasion on the SBOE decide that it might be better not to rubber-stamp once again the partisan stupidity of EggersEggers&Aceto?