Give a state agency a hammer – then everything becomes a nail

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OPINION

RALEIGH – The County Compass thanks reader Kim Cotten-West of Plymouth for her recent ALERT, which can be seen here. Kim describes a proposed attempt by the Executive Director of our state Board of Elections – a non-elected official – to broaden her authority to change the rules governing our electoral process. This is being done under the guise of ‘emergency powers’ prompted by the recent pandemic.

Kim asks that you register your public comments before an April 20 cutoff. Here are brief comments filed by Jeff Aydelette, publisher of the County Compass newspaper:

Emergency powers are a risky thing for our freedoms and democracy. Postponements until any emergency subsides is the best way to proceed for a Board of Elections. Even if the status quo remains ‘ as is ‘ — better to leave things untouched until rational minds prevail rather than a rush to judgment, when any missteps would be likely.

More explanation follows from Kim Cotten-West . . .

Community Leaders:
Your urgent help is needed! The NC Board of Election is asking for public comment under rule making procedures. This “proposed temporary rule would amend her (NC Board of Elections Executive Director) emergency powers to clarify that a catastrophe arising from natural causes includes a disease epidemic or other public health incident that makes it impossible or extremely hazardous for elections officials or voters to reach or otherwise access the voting place or that creates a significant risk of physical harm to persons in the voting place, or that would otherwise convince a reasonable person to avoid traveling to or being in a voting place.”

Read also the text of the proposed amendment and then click on the link below to make a public comment online. The deadline for public comment is Monday April 20, 2020

Online: Public Comment Portal

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