Down East Seniors talk Board of Elections

Published 2:50 pm Friday, April 21, 2017

The Down East Seniors Club held its April 19 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. Vice President Chip Ide led the meeting. Jim Hackney played for the singing of “God Bless America,” and Charles Smith gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Gary Brinn introduced Kellie Hopkins, director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections. Hopkins spoke about the system of limited voting for county commissioners used in the county. This system was instituted in 1992 to implement election of two minority groups, African-Americans and Republicans, to the board of commissioners. The seven commissioners serve four-year terms. Four are up for election one election year and three the next election year, which is two years later. Each voter is allowed to vote for only one candidate regardless of how many are running. In 1998, the state passed a law allowing people to petition to change the limited voting system. A group of citizens is currently working on such a petition, but any such change would have to be approved by the commissioners and a federal court judge.

Ide won the 50/50 drawing.