Democratic and Republican party officials are upset that the scandals plaguing North Carolina state government have reached into the board of elections. They are questioning the judgment and professionalism of state elections officials after media reports of private plane flights paid for with taxpayer money and the high cost of printing ballots under a state-granted monopoly contract.
Democratic State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird wants an investigation. “We need to take a thorough look at this from top to bottom.”
Republican Party chair Tom Fetzer said, “It is apparent to me, and to many others, that the board of elections has become a cesspool of corruption and incompetence.”
However, the concern expressed by these party officials for the integrity and fairness of the state’s election system is the very definition of disingenuous.
Neither mentions that the state’s entire election system is totally controlled by the Democratic and Republican party establishments. For them to complain that it is a cesspool is like a sanitation worker complaining that people produce too much garbage.
If the board of elections is a cesspool, it is because the people who built it and run it are producing too much of the stuff that goes into a cesspool.
Fetzer called on Governor Perdue to demand that the board of elections chairman and director resign. He said his demand was “not about partisan politics.”
But it is.
“The state’s election laws give special privileges to Democrats and Republicans, while denying basic voting rights to everyone else,” said Barbara Howe, state Libertarian Party chair. That’s one of the reasons the Libertarians are suing the state over its ballot access laws.
For example, she said that the General Assembly has ordered elections boards to discard any vote cast for anyone they do not define as qualified. “Thanks to this rig, combined with gerrymandering, the General Assembly remains 100 percent Democratic or Republican in membership, although about 24 percent of North Carolina voters are unaffiliated or Libertarian,” she said.
Only Democrats and Republicans sit on the state and county boards of election, which make crucial decisions about elections, including who is eligible to vote and who can run for office. Only Democrats and Republicans draw up voting districts. Only Democrats and Republicans appoint elections officials.
If you’re member of any other political party, even one that’s ballot-certified like the Libertarian Party, you cannot serve on any elections board. Nor can you serve if you choose to retain your independence as an unaffiliated voter
To maintain their absolute dominance on power, Democrats and Republicans have concocted the second most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation. It’s easier to get on the ballot in 48 other states – and in Russia and Iraq – than it is in North Carolina.
North Carolina’s election laws, by design of Democratic and Republican operatives and lawmakers, circumvent the rights guaranteed under the state constitution. They deny citizens their rights to free elections, free association, equal protection of the law, and the opportunity to vote for the person of their choice.
The Democrats and Republicans don’t need yet another “bipartisan” investigation to clean up the cesspool. All they have to do is remove the barriers and restrictions placed on other parties and independent candidates and restore the rights guaranteed to all citizens by the state constitution.