Lincoln County's new Elections Board: Wayne Mitchem, Brian Crisson, Candy Dellinger, Don Wise, Judy Caudill
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
It might be an understatement to say that elections and elections boards have been very much in the news for the last several months. The newly formed NC State Board of Elections decided last week to order a new election for Congress in North Carolina's 9th district after evidence was presented of several irregularities involving that election last November. Mark Harris, the GOP candidate who appeared to have won the election by about 900 votes based on the returns, actually asked the board to order a new election--and they did. Harris hasn't indicated whether or not he will run again, but his opponent, Democrat Dan McCreedy, has said he will again seek the post.
Lincoln County had its own election faux pas--when residents of an apartment complex on Buffalo Shoals Road that had been annexed into the city weren't allowed to vote in the city of Lincolnton municipal election. Since their votes wouldn't have been enough to change the outcome, a challenge by Fred Jarrett, who lost the Ward 2 race to Dr. Jim Watson, was dismissed.
A federal court said last year that North Carolina's Congressional districts must be realigned, and there's a possibility that a similar realignment may yet be coming for state offices (NC House & NC Senate).
The State Elections Board was revamped, first to a mix of half Democrats, half Republicans and one additional unaffiliated member, then to its current configuration. Local elections board went from three members (two from the party of the Governor and one from the opposing party) to four (two from each) and now to a five-member configuration.
Under what exists now, the county boards are five members--two Democrats, two Republicans, and a chair appointed by the Governor.
Judy Caudill who has been a member of the Lincoln County board for several years and who was once the county's Elections Director, was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to chair the local board. Don Wise, who had served on the four-member board, was chosen as one of the two other Democrats and Candy Dellinger was chosen as a new member. The Republican Party chose two new members: Wayne Mitchem and Brian Crisson.
At Tuesday's meeting, Wise was chosen as secretary for the new board--although he delegated the duty of keeping minutes, etc. to Elections Director Brad Putnam.
The Elections office will be moving later this year to the former R.B. Cronland Garden Center on Salem Church Road. Bids on renovations necessary for the change will be opened next month and it's expected that the move will happen by this Fall.
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