Monday, August 27, 2018

The Rewritten Constitutional Amendment Governing the State Board of Elections Is Still Very Bad

So Berger/Moore have taken out the language that would have stripped the governor of his power to appoint hundreds thousands of members of all state boards and commissions, which are charged with carrying out laws, setting policies, and enforcing compliance. But they left in the baseline chuckleheaded proposal to make the State Board of Elections an even-steven board of four hardline Republicans and four hardline Democrats.

Can you spell stalemate?

The current board is nine members, after the Berger/Moore General Assembly lost another court battle. They let the governor appoint the ninth member, and they've been unhappy ever since. Berger/Moore do not want majority decisions on this particular board, because with stalemate over competitive early voting plans, local boards of elections will have to revert to early voting in the local BOE offices only. It's a ploy, once again, to reduce the influence of early voting on the elections in North Carolina. Among other outcomes. A State Board that deadlocks 4-4 means that local board decisions, no matter how repressive, will stand. Or it will mean that a deadlocked local board will be deadlocked for eternity, as the State Board also deadlocks.

Republicans kind of like government that doesn't work.

Watauga BOE. The two Republican members on the left
Look at the local Watauga Board of Elections, divided 2-2 equally between Dems and Repubs. Nothing can change for the better. For a perfect recent example, the proposal to split the very large New River 3 precinct into two precincts with the in-town voters voting at the National Guard Armory and the out-in-the-country voters voting at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church ... Republican member Eric Eller first said it was a logical and excellent solution to a persistent problem for in-town voters. Then when the proposal could have passed, he balked. (Board Chair Republican Nancy Owen was never in favor of splitting the precinct. She hates the very idea of "convenience" for the voters. Or at least she said she hated people asking for "convenience" at the polls. It's like unprotected sex.)

Impasse. What could help voters get easier ballot access won't happen, and what we see on the local level could become the law of the realm, if the Republicans get this constitutional amendment through.

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