John Nix: Board of Elections power plays

white concrete building under clear blue sky

It is now our job to let the Commission know what you think is reasonable funding. Do Lenoir County taxpayers agree two taxpayer-funded sites is enough? The Democrat plan is three times the recommended amount with six sites. This unbudgeted plan will cost Lenoir County $30,000 to $36,000 more than required or necessary. 

We all know not everyone pays property taxes, but everyone has ample opportunity to vote. Registered voters have 17 days of early voting to find rides, use public transportation, ride-sharing services, or request an absentee ballot to exercise their right to vote. There is no oppressive intent in limiting voting sites to state recommendations. Chairman Patterson’s actions exhibit callus, unreasonable, and intentional disregard for all residents of Lenoir County. The Republican board members requested three sites.

And then there is the “pandemic”.

Democrat States and Counties nationwide are pushing for voters to use mail-in ballots to vote. There is already a system in place for absentee ballot voting. However, absentee ballot voting is designed for a small percentage of resident voters that are unable to vote in person due to health problems or geographical challenges. It was not designed to accommodate, in a timely fashion, 30% or better of resident voters.

This mail-in ballot push by Democrats is designed to overwhelm the system, delay results, and create chaos and confusion, not to provide safety to the voting public. Each voting site will be using masks, rubber gloves, and other safeguards to protect the public and themselves. So, if the “Board” knows they will see a marked increase in Absentee Ballots, why does Chairman Patterson want three times the one stop voting sites?

Chairman Patterson needs to be held accountable by you, the taxpaying registered voters of Lenoir County. He is not allowed to make unilateral decisions, spend taxpayer dollars whimsically, and should be held to the standards set by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Chairman Patterson needs to be reminded that the money he is playing with is not Monopoly money. We don’t get to fold up the game after it’s over with zero consequences.

This is real taxpayer money and is not a game at all! Lenoir County is already a Tier One County with one of the highest tax rates in the State! People are out of work and businesses are either closed for good or struggling as the economy slowly recovers from the impact of this virus and Governor Cooper’s response to it, another topic of discussion for a different column. 

Let the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners and the Lenoir County Board of Elections members know what you, the taxpayer, think about the majority plan to unnecessarily spend your money. Below is the contact information for each:

Lenoir County Board of Elections (as provided by the Board of Elections)

Courtney Patterson, Chairman [email protected]

Ella Clarke, Secretary [email protected]

Tommy Pharo, Member [email protected]

Bob Patterson, Member [email protected]

Lucinda Minges, Member [email protected]

Lenoir County Commissioners (as found here)

Linda Rouse Sutton, Chairman [email protected]

Roland Best [email protected]

Preston Harris [email protected]

Craig Hill [email protected]

June Cummings [email protected]

J. Mac Daughety [email protected]

Eric Rouse [email protected]

The views of the columnist are not necessarily those of Neuse News.

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