1. Watauga County is one of only two counties whose BOE didn't even hold a vote on Early Voting plans.
2. Because of that, the Early Voting cases for Watauga and Cumberland will go first before the State Board of Elections, who will determine whether Stacy C. Eggers IV ("Four") is right in his scheme that the SBOE has no jurisdiction to set an Early Voting plan for a county that didn't adopt a plan.
3. That crucial meeting of the State Board of Elections will take place next Thursday, September 8, at the SBOE offices in Raleigh (441 North Harrington St, Raleigh, NC 27603). No doubt, the Watauga case will come up in the morning session.
[According to Talking Points Memo:] To make the state of play even more complicated, the election boards in two of the 34 counties whose plans are in question never even took a vote and it’s unclear whether the state board has jurisdiction to implement a new plan. If not, the early voting protocols would default to early voting during only weekday business houses along with one Saturday morning, and offered solely at the county elections office.
“Which, in these two counties, Watauga and Cumberland, that would catastrophic,” Riggs said. Watauga is home to Appalachian State University, while Cumberland includes a military base and Fayetteville, one of North Carolina’s largest cities. Overall, 56 percent of North Carolina voters used early voting in 2012.
The State Board will hold hearings next Thursday on each of the disputed county plans.
“I think the State Board of Elections is unrealistic right now in thinking that they're going to get 34 of these heard in one day. I’ve seen three of them take two hours,” Riggs said.
Joshua Lawson, the general counsel for the State Board of Elections confirmed the scheduled hearing for the 34 county plans, including for the two counties where part of the discussion will be whether the state has jurisdiction. Asked about the concerns raised about the lack of early voting opportunities in some counties, Lawson said the state board will make a "data based decision” regarding each dispute.