Watauga County Board of Elections Meets Monday, Democrats: Agenda Items Will Affect Boone Voting Rights

Published Friday, August 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm

By Jesse Wood

Aug. 9, 2013. The Watauga County Board of Elections will meet on Monday, Aug. 12, at 9 a.m. in the elections’ office inside the Watauga County Courthouse on King Street.

The scheduling of the meeting comes days after the announcement that Luke Eggers of Boone was appointed as the third and final board member on the Watauga County Board of Elections – weeks after Jim Hastings declined the appointment.

Along with some initial routine business for the new board, Monday’s agenda includes items “that will affect voting rights in Boone,” according to Kathleen Campbell, the lone Democrat on the three-member board. 

Agenda items include “Resolution to Re-combine Boone Precincts,” “Adopt New One-Stop Implementation Plan for 2013 Municipal Elections,” “A Resolution To Establish Public Comment Process for Board Elections” and resolutions to relocate Meat Camp, New River 3 and Seven Devils polling places.

Specifics into some of the agenda items are not known. Eggers and Bill Aceto, the other board member, did not return phone calls Friday morning, and Campbell said she didn’t know what these items exactly entailed. 

Campbell said that Eggers called for the upcoming meeting and dropped off the agenda at the Watauga County Board of Elections office on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

“I think that this is an outrage for the people of Boone to be getting such little notice for something that is important to their lives, their ability to vote,” Campbell said, adding that the next meeting was supposed to be scheduled for Aug. 20.

Members of the Watauga County Democratic Party have already announced an event on Facebook for folks to show up at the meeting and “wear green.”

In the Facebook event post, Ian O’Keefe and Jesse Allen Presnell wrote: “Their goals: Combining Boone voting locations, eliminating early voting on campus, weakening the power of non-partisan county employees, and moving precinct voting locations in New River 3 and Meat Camp all in an effort to repress and restrict individual voter rights. All of this maneuvering is motivated by one thing: To stop people from voting!”

On Friday, Watauga County Republican Chair Anne-Marie Yates said that the accusations of repressing and restricting individual voter rights are “absolutely” false.

“It’s the exact opposite. It is an effort to make voting more convenient for more people,” Yates said. “By moving voting places that are less central to Boone, makes it easier [for people] to go vote in their townships.” 

As for the reasoning behind the agenda item regarding the adoption of a new one-stop voting implementation plan and what that entails, Yates said she didn’t have those answers immediately, adding that she would get back to High Country Press.

See the meeting’s agenda below:

Board Meeting Voting

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