By Luke Weir
The newly appointed bipartisan North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, including Watauga residents Stella Anderson and Stacy “Four” Eggers IV, met for its inaugural meeting last Wednesday morning in Raleigh. The board, which consists of four Republicans and four Democrats in accordance with state statutes, was sworn into office and nominated two candidates for its ninth chair at the 8 a.m. meeting.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement oversees all elections in the state, as well as campaign finance, ethics and lobbying reporting and compliance, according to its official website.
After some disagreement among the Democrats and Republicans, as reported by various news outlets in attendance, the board nominated two candidates not registered with either political party to fill its ninth and final seat. Damon Circosta, executive director of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, and Burley Mitchell, former chief justice of the state supreme court, were the nominees, according to documents from the meeting.
Watauga county resident Stella Anderson is a Democrat on this new state board of elections and ethics enforcement, while Four Eggers of Boone serves as a Republican. Both Anderson and Eggers are former members of the Watauga County Board of Elections.
Despite Governor Cooper’s recent compliance with the new North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, he has petitioned against its creation multiple times to the North Carolina Supreme Court, since as recently March 5. House Bill 90, increasing Governor Cooper’s control over the board, was passed by state congress Feb. 13, and became a law without Governor Cooper’s signature on March 16.
Wednesday’s meeting was the first North Carolina state board of elections meeting since last April.
Next tasks for the board include appointments to county boards, non-unanimous early-voting plans, certification of new elections equipment and adoptions of rules, among other considerations, according to the board’s official website.