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Elections board expands with latest appointments

The newest version of the Beaufort County Board of Elections is in place.

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Bipartisan Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement appointed Republicans Jay McRoy and John B. Tate III and Democrats Tom Payne and Alice Mills Sadler to the county board, expanding it from its previous three members (two Republicans and one Democrat) to four members, two Republican members and two Democratic members as required by state law. McRoy, Tate and Payne had served on the previous three-member board. They will take their oaths of office at noon Monday.

The board members will serve at least until June 25, 2019, or until their successors are sworn in.

Political parties in each of the state’s 100 counties submitted a list of nominees to the state board for consideration for appointment. On Tuesday, the state board appointed the first and second nominees on the lists provided by each county’s Republican Party and Democratic Party to the state board — except for Cleveland, Halifax and Roberson counties.

The state board, with an 8-1 vote, appointed the top two nominees from each political party to the boards of elections in the other 97 counties. State board member John Malachi Lewis voted against those appointments, saying he prefers following the tradition of following the recommendations of each county’s political parties when it comes to making appointments to a board of elections.

“While I’m appreciative of the work these folks have done and I like the fact that we would be moving 97 counties, as it was mentioned in the preliminary discussions of this motion, historically this board has recognized the decisions of the parties and their choices within the counties and have not crossed over to start second-guessing what the counties have chosen,” Lewis said. “I have expressed some concerns of folks, however, I have also said because the counties have made these decisions, that is what we should do. I object to his motion and will be voting no because it does not address all 100 counties.”

The board also made appointments to the boards of elections in Cleveland, Halifax and Robeson counties. Those appointments were not based on the first and second nominees submitted by each political party.

In other business, the state board unanimously voted to recognize the Green Party as an official political party in North Carolina.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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