With deadline looming, effort to name NC’s new state elections board hits a snag

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Election fraud investigation

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The effort to find members for a new North Carolina state elections board has hit a snag, just before a deadline for a new board to be named.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s office on Tuesday found two of the four Democrats nominated to the board ineligible. A new board is scheduled to be appointed by Thursday.

The new board will oversee the investigation into alleged election fraud in the 9th District, a probe that has put into question the results of last November’s election. Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in unofficial results. But the old elections board twice declined to certify his victory because of alleged irregularities with absentee ballots in Bladen County.

The old board was dissolved by court order Dec. 28 as part of a separate case.

William McKinney, Cooper’s legal counsel, on Tuesday notified the state Democratic Party that Valerie Johnson and Greg Flynn are ineligible for the board because they’d engaged in “electioneering” activities in the last four years. Both had been nominated to the new board by the party.

Democrats will fill three seats on the new board; Republicans will have two. On Wednesday, Democrats nominated two replacements.

Last week Democrats complained that two of the four GOP nominees were ineligible for the same reason. State Republican officials had to name two replacements. This week it was Republicans who identified the two Democrats as ineligible.

“Chairman (Robin) Hayes believed this was the case, and directed staff to express concerns about this issue,” state GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse said in a message to The Charlotte Observer. “It is important that both sides be held to the same rules and standards on this issue. The Governor’s position was required under the law.”

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