LPNC Nominates Independent Voter for Wake County Board of Elections

Raleigh, June 1, 2017—The chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina, Brian Irving, has submitted three nominees for the Wake County Board of Elections to the North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE), the WakeLP announced today. Jeff Harrod and Amy Howard, both of Raleigh, are registered Libertarians, and Jon Byers, also of Raleigh, is registered as independent.

“Thirty-five percent of all registered voters in Wake County are independent,” stated WakeLP chair David Ulmer. “But when’s the last time an independent voter was appointed to serve on the Wake County Board of Elections? I can’t say when, or even if, but I do know it hasn’t happened yet this century. The NCGOP and NCDems don’t even bother to nominate independents, let alone appoint any.” 

Under current state law, each state party chair can nominate up to three people to serve on each of the 100 county boards of election. The SBE then appoints the members of each county board from among the nominees. No more than two members of each county board can be from the same party. The county boards of election establish precincts and determine polling sites and hours including for early voting, rule on voter eligibility questions, administer all elections in their respective county, and investigate any voting irregularities.

Republicans have twice pushed through legislation that would change the nomination process and combine the state elections board with the ethics board, but legal challenges killed their first effort and the second one has been stayed pending court review. So for now, the SBE is operating under the current law.

“This is the first time we have ever submitted nominations,” said LPNC chair Brian Irving. “We included independents because statewide they represent nearly a third of North Carolina voters.”

Irving said independent voters—officially referred to by the SBE as “unaffiliated”—are just as excluded from the electoral process as alternative party voters. 

“The administration of elections should be as non-partisan as possible, rather than controlled by just two political parties,” Irving continued. “Libertarians support letting all voters, regardless of party registration and including independent voters, serve on all boards of elections.”

Byers, 47, is a QA Engineer for IBM Watson and has been registered as independent for a couple of years now. He commented, “If appointed, I will work hard to represent all voters in Wake County. I hope having a non-partisan member of the board would tend to increase public confidence in the fairness of our decisions.” 

Harrod, 53, now works at Dreams Unlimited, a travel agency specializing in Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando vacation packages after recently retiring from a 30-year career in construction. 

Howard, 36, is marketing manager at Imaginovation. She posted an announcement of her nomination on Facebook and followed up with a video responding to questions

For more information about the WakeLP, visit: {{ settings.site.full_url }}  For more information about the LPNC, check out their website: http://www.lpnc.org. For inquiries about talking with any of our nominees, please contact:

Patrick Bowersox
Press Liaison
[email protected]

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