County voters shun new political parties

Published 12:40 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

Few Beaufort County voters have joined the Green and Constitution political parties since they were officially recognized by the state earlier this year.

“I know we’ve gotten some Constitution Party … but right off the top of my head I can’t think of any Green Party, but I can run a report right quick,” said Anita Bullock Branch, deputy director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections, on Friday. After running that report, Branch reported that five voters are members of the Constitution Party and no voters are members of the Green Party. “They are few and far between,” Branch said about county residents coming to the board’s office to change their party affiliation from another party to either the Green Party or Constitution Party.

Branch said she believes few voters are aware of the two new political parties and it likely will take several elections before they realized they have two more options when it comes to registering as a member of one of the two new political parties.

In March, the N.C. State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement certified the Green Party as an official political party. In June, that board certified the Constitution Party as an official political party in the Old North State. That means voters in North Carolina can register as unaffiliated or with any of the following parties: Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian or Republican.

As of Aug. 18, there were 13,183 voters registered as Democrats in Beaufort County, followed by 10,812 Republican voters, 9,172 unaffiliated voters and 145 Libertarian voters, according to the state board’s website.

Statewide, voters are slow joining the Green and Constitution parties. As of Aug. 18, there were 429 voters registered as Green Party members and 240 Constitution Party members, according to the state board. There were 36,042 voters registered as Libertarians.

The N.C. Constitution Party’s website lists these seven core values of the party: sanctity of life, religious freedom, traditional family, private-property rights, supports Second Amendment, anti-socialism and national sovereignty.

The N.C. Green Party website lists these 10 key values of the party: grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom, non-violence, social justice and equal opportunity, decentralization, community-based economics, feminism, respect for diversity, future focus and sustainability and personal and global responsibility.


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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